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Ex Librls 
Robert W. Bain M.D. 











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V/ith. a Preface "by J. H. NswiiAN, ED., Fellov?- of Oriel 
College, Oxford. 

N E W - Y O R K : 

■. D. APPLETON & Co., 200, BROADWAT. 







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Little is known concerning the Author of 
the following Work, besides one or two of the 
principal dates connected with his life. He was 
a native of Hampshire, and born about 1565; 
and he came to Oxford in 1582, being entered 
as a commoner iirst at Hart Hall, and soon after- 
wards at Lincoln College, where he gradu- 
ated in Arts. In 1587, before he was twenty- 
three, he was ordained and presented to the 
Vicarage of Raneham, in the comity of Essex, 
which he resigned the next year for the Rectory 
of Caston, in his own county. After this he 
held the Rectory of Woodrising, in the county 
of Norfolk. At the end of 1612 he was pre- 
j ferred to that of Bromley, in Essex, which to- 






gether with Cranworth, in Norfolk, which was 
afterwards given him, he held till his death. 
In 1605, King James, in consequence of his 
eloquence as a preacher, had made him a Pre- 
bendary of the Abbey Church of St. Peter's, 
Westminster. The only Sermon of which the 
memory is preserved, is one he delivered at the 
Funeral of Camden, the Antiquary, on which 
occasion, " he stept up into the pulpit," says 
Kennett, " and made a true, grave, and modest 
commemoration of his life." He died in May 
or June, 1629, and was buried in the Abbey 
Church, near the Vestry of the choir. 

Besides the Work which is now presented to 
the reader, he wrote two small Treatises pre- 
viously to it, under the titles of Discc Vivere 
and Disce Mori, as helps to the Christian how 
to live and how to die the life and death of the 
righteous. In the Dedication prefixed to the 
latter, he states, that " knowing his own weak- 
ness, he had not brought it out till over en- 
treated by some special friends of his own Uni- 
versity." These, as w^ell as his " Godly Medi- 
tations," were popular books during the 17th 


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editor's preface. vii 

century. By 1677 the latter, as Anthony a 
Wood informs us, had reached thirteen editions. 
As to the character of the Work itself little 
need be said, except that it is written in the 
devotional tone of Bishops Taylor and Ken, and 
other luminaries of the same period of our 
Church. It scarcely needs be added, that, 
the subject being what it is, its language is 
not adapted for every company, nor bears 
to be thrown in the way of persons taken at 
random. If any one be disposed to censure 
it as too glowing, or what may be called raptur- 
ous, let him rather consider whether his own 
estimate of its sacred subject itself be not inade- 
quate. If the Holy Mysteries of the Eucharist 
be what the Church Cathohc has ever consid- 
ered them, they involve a condescension on 
the part of Almighty God which would be 
quite overwhelming, were it not withal so very 
gracious ; and demand a retiurn of exulting joy 
and grateful affection which cannot exceed, so 
that awe be present too. If in the language 
adopted by the Homilies, it be " the salve of 
immortality and sovereign preservative against 
O— ( 


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viii editor's preface. 

death," " a deifical communion,*' " the hope of 
the resurrection," " the food of immortahty," 
" a heavenly refection," " an invisible meat," 
" a ghostly substance," surely no thoughts on 
our part can be too high for it. The words of 
an ancient Father, which the Homilies also cite, 
set before us both the doctrine and the feelings 
with which we should regard it. " When thou 
goest up to the reverend Communion, to be 
satisfied with spiritual meats, look up with 
faith upon the Holy Body and Blood of thy 
God, marvel with reverence, touch it with thy 
mind, receive it with the hand of thy heart, 
and take it fully with thy inward man." The 
fervour, then, of such meditations as the fol- 
lowing, is no blame in him who wrote them, 
but in those who use them over boldly . 

One caution must be added, — to beware of 
trying to work ourselves up, by a direct effort, 
into the feelings which are expressed in them. 
The Christian's reason will always, indeed, be 
able to assent to the very strongest terms wftich 
they contain ; but he will often have to lament 
that from one cause or other, the state of mind 

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editor's preface. ix 

and body, the occurrences of the passing sea- 
son, or even the accident of the moment, he is 
unable to reahze them in his heart. Under 
these circumstances, he will be exposed to the 
temptation of stimulating his feelings into unison 
with them. Rather, miserable as it is to be 
cold in the full blaze of the sun, still let 
him submit to contemplate only with his rea- 
son, what ought, were he in a healthy state, to 
be the expression of his affections. Let him 
be content steadily to train himself in moral 
obedience day by day, and, as times go on, his 
mind will be gradually moulded not only to 
" love the things which God commandeth," but 
also to " desire that which He doth promise ;" 
so that at length, by God's grace, perchance 
he will be able by a permanent affection and in 
his ordinary frame, and in spite more or less, 
nav altogether, of variations of body and estate, 
to live upon Him by love, as well as faith, on 
whom he has ever lived since his regeneration 
by a secret and spiritual union. In any other 
way he will gain but the shadow of what he 
seeks, instead of the substance. The attain- 
O (^ 

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X editor's preface. 

menl of great things is slow ; the mountain of 
the Lord is not to be ascended by a mere act 
of his will ; nor can he turn into " the path of 
the just" near its " perfect day," instead of en- 
tering in at the strait gate. As only chastised 
and obedient souls gain the sight of heaven, so 
none but they are really filled with the love of 
it ; and as mere argument and inquiry, which 
would fain anticipate religious knowledge, have 
no power to root conviction in us beyond the 
reach of change, so excited feelings which lead 
straight to religious enjoyment, are but as " fire 
among the thorns," giving a momentary blaze, 
then dying away for ever. 

J. H. N, 


Tlie Vigil of the Annunciatiou. 


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To the two virtuous and modest Gentlewomen, the now Lady Ver- 
ney, and the Lady Rodney, sisters ; sometime attending upon tlio 
late Queen in her Honourable Privy Chamber. 

That desire you have, Right Virtuous, to serve 
God in hohness of hfe, and very towardly dis- 
position, even from your tender years, so apph- 
cable to all goodness, (wherein may you wax 
old by the grace of God,) have often moved me 
to beseech Him, who hath begun this good in 
you, to continue the same, even unto an aged 
and happy end. For, assuredly our religious 
duties, and respective devotion to God, is worth 
all the world's dignity beside ; nay, without this, 
all the dignity of the world is nothing worth. 
Is not godliness the flower of all our actions ? 
Yes, verily ; " Do but try me, saith the Lord, 
if I will not pour out a blessing."* Hath he 

* Malachi iii. 10. 

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not said, " I will honour them that honour me ?* 
Et diligentes me diligo ; and " I love them that 
love me ?"t 

To exercise this your devotionate duty unto 
God, so often (and therefore often) as you pre- 
pare yourselves unto the blessed Sacrament of 
the Lord's Supper, that high mystery of hiunan 
salvation, I commend unto you both these 
Meditations hereafter followinig, in part gather- 
ed out of the ancient Fathers, and some late 
reverend writers of this age, as Luc. Penel, and 
others, translated, augmented, and brought to 
a method, I offer them (as a testimony of my 
due regard towards you) and present them unto 
your sober and gentle patronage, wherein what 
is performed, you may haply by observing find. 

The occasion first moving me to gather some- 
what tending to devotion upon this subject, I 
mean the true use of the most Holy Sacrament, 
was the necessity I found of some good means 
to stir up at times beseeming the best, and best 
disposed devotion of Christians, towards the 
high mystery they have in hand. Witty dis- 
courses in matters of controversy, now a long 
time no less learned than large, we have had in 
our English tongue, about the holy Eiicharist : 
but all this while we have not much extant ap- 

* 1 Sam. ii. 30. t Prov. viji. 17. 

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pertaining to the substance thereof, to wit, touch- 
ing our Christian preparation unto the same, 
and our Christian participation of the same. 

In the old law, the Levites must be first sanc- 
tified, and then they were to sanctify the peo- 
ple ; the Priests prepared themselves, and others, 
to celebrate the old Passover ; but unto this 
Passover every one withal prepares himself, for 
that every one hath a soul to save. 

God saith to the same people of Israel, When 
your children shall say to you, Qua, est ista 
religio ? " What mcaneth this religion ?* or 
what is this solemn observance we keep ? you 
shall say unto them, " This is the Lord's Pass- 
over," &c. which as it had a memorial of a 
great deliverance past, so was it a most lively 
type and figure of the true Passover that was 
to come, wherein the blood of that most inno- 
cent Lamb of God that took away the sins of 
the world, was in love shed for the redemption 
of us all. And therefore of all in general may 
that of Hezekiah be well inferred, " The Lord 
be merciful unto them that prepare themselves 
hereunto,"! &c. 

And to you both. Right Virtuous, I may 
properly apply the same in particular ; the Lord 

* Exodus xii. 26. t 2 Chron. xxx. 18, 19. 

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evermore be merciful unto you, in preparing 
your whole hearts to keep this Passover unto 
the Lord your God, who of his infinite mercy 
grant you a prosperous course of life for the 
time present, and for the time to come life ever- 


'** In all humble manner, 









In perusing the controversies of these our times, good 
Christian reader, with a mind desirous afterward to satisfy 
the moderate minded, on the contrary part in some ques- 
tions, (wherein without question we are mistaken, and 
are not according to right, rightly understood ;) in perus- 
ing, I say, these controversies, to speak a plain truth as 
in the sight of God, I found many of them on both sides 
so full of invective discourses, as I was then sorry to 
read, and am now loath to mention. But amongst other, 
entering into the controversy of the holy Eucharist, 
methought I was entered into a tempestuous sea of a^ 
contention, for there I saw most unnatural bitterness 
amongst Christians, schisms in the church, factions in 
commonwealths, all tossing and turmoiling about this 
sacred mystery, as is lamentable to consider. 

2. I began at first to admire the patience of God, to 




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xvi . author's preface. 

see this heavenly mystery of human salvation left unto 
the world, by Him who did redeem the world, as a seal of 
mercy, as a pledge of peace and love between God and 
man, to become, by the contentious humours of many, a 
very subject for all dissension. 

3. At the beholding hereof might not the Prophet 
Jeremiah wish, did he live, that he had waterenough, 
and that his head were even a fountain of tears 1* Did 
the Son of God institute this most divine Ordinance to 
exercise our overrunning fantasies, and not rather to 
nourish and grace our poor redeemed souls ? 

4. In that Almighty God put enmity between the 
seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent we may 
gather, that as the seed of the woman should be at en- 
mity with the seed of the serpeant, so should it be at 
unity with itself We have enemies enough abroad in 
the world, though Christians be not at variance within 
themselves, and that which is most to be lamented, about 
some principal points of their Christian profession ; but 
of all other about the sacred Institution of Christ their 
only Saviour and Redeemer, who left this his Ordinance, 
not to raise matter of contention, but to strengthen us 
in faith, and to continue a joyful remembrance of his love, 
in suffering and dying for the sins of the world, until 
the time of His second appearance or coming agam in 
His glory. 

There is a fur better and safer course than to contend 

* Jeremiah ix. 1. 

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author's preface. xvh I 

any longer, if men would at last set themselves on all 
parts to follow it ; which is to reverence the Son of God 
in the unsearchable mysteries of His wisdom which are 
past finding out ; and not to stand weighing them in 
the light scales and balance of their own reason, to draw 
a veil over them, or say with the woman of Samaria, 
Puteus est altus, this well is deep, and so with pious 
hearts to reverence them, and no more ado. 

5. When we have done striving, and even wearied 
ourselves in a thousand difficulties, brought our minds 
into a labyrinth of doubts, unless we will make contro- 
versies immortal, we must draw at last to an issue. 

The faithful receive the blessed Sacrament ; Well, 
what do they receive ! Certainly Christ Jesus, truly 
and really ; to make further scruple is needless curi- 
osity ; to give light credence hereunto, is in part incre- 
dulity. What the elements of bread and wine are in 
themselves, is one thing; that they are, being now 
consecrated to so holy a use, and received of tlie spirit- 
ually minded as the spiritual food of their souls, is 
another. WTiat they are, I say, Christ's own words are 
sufficient warrant for a believing world unto the world's 
end. Wherefore, to be overwitted in seeking, or doubt- 
ing how this should be, is no way agreeable to that faith 
and obedience that becometh Christians. Rerum ab- 
sentium (saith an ancient Father) prcesens est fides ; 
rerum impossibilium, possibilis est fides ; of things ab- 
sent, faith is present ; of things impossible, faith is 
O ;; O 

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:viii author's preface. 

possible. PanemvideSfVerbum audis ; Cuipoiius cre- 
dis ? Sensui, vel Christo ? Thou seest the bread, thou 
hearest the word ; to which rather dost thou give credit, 
whether to thy sense, or to Christ ] Cui non potius 
gaudes ? Quid quaris ? Why dost thou not rather 
rejoice % Why dost thou question "? 

6. In this case, that of the blessed Virgin, spoken of 
Christ at the Marriage at Cana, in Galilee, would be 
remembered ; Quodcunque dixerit vobis, facite ; What- 
soever he shall say unto you, do it. 

When the serpent said unto Eve, Cur prcecepit vobis 
Deus, ut non comederetis ? Why hath God commanded 
you not to eat ? had she answered, Scio quod prcecepit, 
non spectas ad me invsstigare causam quare prcecepit ; 
I know he hath commanded me so ; to seek a reason 
why, or the cause wherefore, I need not, I ought not. 
Had she not done far better 1 

Some have faith, saith St. Augustine, in his 132d 
sermon De tempore, which have not art to defend it, or 
skill to show a reason thereof; he which hath is not the 
faithfuller, but a little learneder. Quomodo fieri potest ? 
accedite et percipietis. How can this be 1 draw near, 
and you shall perceive. Accedite ad Deum, et illumin- 
amini, Draw near unto God, and be enlightened. 

We have many things in Christianity offered as 
objects of our faith, wherein we must hold captive hu- 
man reason. El Deus erat, et homo erat, et mater 
erat, et virgo erat, There was a God and yet a man, 

0- —'J 


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author's preface. xix 

a mother and yet a virgin ; that it is so we know it, 
how or after what manner this is brought to pass, 
know we cannot. Of those things which may be 
known, St. Bernard, speaking of the blessed Sacra- 
ment, Ser. de Ccen. Dom. Mira sunt, saith he, qua de 
Sacramento dicuntur : Fides est necessaria, scientia 
rationis siipervacua, scientia ratione et intellectu colligi- 
tur, fides sola auctoritate inducitur ; Wonderful things 
are they which are spoken of the Sacrament : here 
faith is necessary, needless is the science of reason ; this 
science is gathered by discourse and the understand- 
ing ; faith is brought in by authority only. And going 
forward, he addeth, Hcec sunt qua. expetunt simplicem 
creditorem, arguunt impium discussorem ; credi oportet, quod investigari non potest utiliter, nolite 
quarere quomodo fiat^ nolite, dfc. These things require 
a humble believer, and not an ungodly discusser ; that 
which curiously may not be sought may be believed 
with safety ; seek not how this should be done, doubt 
not whether it be done or no. We have scope sufficient 
to exercise our Christian consideration, if we call to 
mind the ineffable wisdom and love of God, who, like a 
most provident Father, was not only content to provide 
costly benefits for his children, but hath also found out 
so behoveful a mean for their participation of the same, 
as in this holy mystery, 

8. We will not ask our physician how it shall come to 
pass that this or that potion should do us good. And 

6— ^ ^ 


XX author's preface. 

should we be more busy when Christ himself doth min- 
ister so precious a receipt, so heavenly for the health of 
our souls 1 God forbid ! There were of the Caperna- 
ites, men without faith in Christ, and love to Christ, who 
in murmuring manner said, Quomodo potest. How, or 
which way can he do this ? It was a faithful and loving 
disciple that answered, Tu Domine, hahes verba vita, 
Lord thou hast the words of life.* 

10. The people, as we read in the Gospel, who were 
cured by our Saviour, came not unto Him to know or 
inquire by what means virtue should proceed from Him, 
it sufficed them to receive health, and, therefore, with- 
out more ado, they gave the glory unto God, who had 
shewed such mercy unto men. 

11. There is both docta ignoraniia, a.nd indocta scien- 
tia, a learned ignorance, and an unlearned science ; the 
one, when men keep themselves within the lists and lim- 
its of obedience and faith ; the other, when they hearken 
to the Holy Ghost, be wise according to sobriety. 

12. Was not the apostle's, O altitudo ! the depth! 
better than all the search of the world, in so unsearch- 
able a mystery, where he made silence the safest 

13. Without all question, the Church of Rome hath 
erred in meddling too much with this sacred mystery, 
and troubling the world with a multitude of unprofitable 
and needless disputes about transubstantiation, and the 

• John vl. 68. 


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author's preface. xxi 

like ; for which, as for their half communion, let them 
shew their accepimus a Domino, as we have received 
from the Lord, or else we plainly tell them their plea is 
not sufficient in law, and will not hold for good. 

14. Let the world, in the name of God, now judge of 
both, which give greater reverence to the most divine 
institution of the Son of God, whether they, who too 
busily talk of changing the substance of the elements 
into other, or they who here conceive more, and with 
more reverence, than words can express ; they who 
say, fjiiy^ ^i/s-tx'/xov, this is a great mystery ; or they 
who labour to search out a power and virtue un- 

In a word, they who will need set down a manner, 
how Christ is present in the Sacrament, or they who 
do acknowledge his presence there, after a manner 

15. All this, while our due estimation of this so high 
a mystery is not yet fully understood (as I suppose) of 
many, who refuse our Christian assemblies in times be- 
seeming. We honour the Passion of Christ our blessed 
Saviour, in this most holy ordinance, I trust, with as 
dutiful hearts as any Christians in the world. The heat 
of some fanciers we wish to be more temperate, and 
their zeal more according to knowledge, who ever love 
to be fishing in troublesome waters, and do their endea- 
vour to cross antiquity, which was not ignorant of so 
I many excellent things. In a word, we confess that all 



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xxii author's preface. 

the reverence and devotion a Christian heart can yield, 
is no way answerable to the depth and dignity hereof. 

16. God said unto Moses, " Put off thy shoes, for the 
ground where thou standest is holy ground" How 
reverently we esteem of this sacred Institution, God 
knoweth, and what we hold, let men at the last seriously 
consider. The state of the controversy I leave in this 
discourse to discuss; matter of difference in opinion is 
often but an abatement of devotion ; words appertaining 
to piety are sweeter than the honey or the honeycomb. 
Although for no other cause, yet for this I have collect- 
ed out of the ancient writers, and in part out of Penella, 
the Meditations hereafter following. 

17. To conclude then, it were to be wished, we had 
less contending in matters of controversy, which avail 
little to godliness, and more sincere following the actions 
of Christian piety, which are much decayed in these 
sinful times. We see it too apparently before our eyes, 
that Ave had less questioning in general, and in particular 
less curious prying into this sacred mystery, and more 
religious preparing ourselves to a due and dutiful par- 
ticipation of the same. We may consider, that after 
all the stir about it, the devotion of most is but so and 
so ; for the heap of volumes that treat of this subject, 
how they all in a manner tend only to matter of con- 
tradiction. Wherefore, omitting matter of contradic- 
tion, beseech we God to increase in us reverence more 
and more toward this most holy ordinance of Christ 

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Jesus his Son, and our Saviour ; and that preparing 
ourselves dutifully to receive him, in the state of grace, 
we may be received by him into the state of glory, to 
sit at his table, in his kingdom, to live with him, and 
reign with him. Amen. 

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Of the first Institution of this most Holy Sacrament of the Lord's 

Supper 33 

The first Meditation upon this Blessed Institution 36 

The Fruit of this Meditation 37 

A Spiritual Soliloquy, or Meditation of the Soul with God upon 

these Meditations 37 

Of the Love of Christ shewed unto faithful Believers, in ordain- 
ing tliis most Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper 39 

The second Meditation 41 

The Fruit of this Meditation 42 

A Spiritual Soliloquy upon this Meditation 42 


Of the great excellency and worthiness of this Sacrament 45 

The third Meditation 46 

Further considerations of this Heavenly Banquet 47 

The Fruit of these Considerations 48 

A Spiritual Sohloquy 48 


Of the wonderful things of this Sacrament 51 

The fourth Meditation 53 

The Fruit 54 

The Spiritual Soliloquy 54 


The manifold Effects and Fniits of this Holy Sacrament in gene- 
ral 57 


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Of the most Principal Effects of this Sacrament in particular — 60 

The Fruits of this Sacrament 63 

The Fifth Meditation 63 

The Fruit of this Meditation 66 

Tlie Soliloquy 66 


A Dialogue between Man and his Soul 68 


Of the principal Causes which may move us to come to this Holy 

Sacrament 70 

The Sixth Meditation 71 

The Fruit 72 

The Soliloquy 72 


Of frequenting or receiving often the Holy Communion 75 

The Seventh Meditation 77 

The Fruit 79 

The Sohloquy 79 


Of the Impediments which detain men from the blessed Sacra- 
ment 82 

The Eighth Meditation 84 

Tlie Fruit 85 

The Soliloquy 86 

The Ninth Meditation — That to abstain from the Sacrament with- 
out just cause is an impediment unto our spiritual profit 87 


A conference between the Soul and Faith 91 


Another Dialogue between the distressed Sinner and Faith 94 


A Spiritual Complaint of the Soul 96 


Of renouncing dangerous Impediments, which hinder the worthy 

receiving of this Holy Sacrament 98 

The Tenth Meditation 99 

The Fruit 100 

The Soliloquy 101 


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Of preparing ourselves before we come to this most Holy Sacra- 
ment ^ 103 

The Eleventh Meditation 105 

The Fruits of tiiis Meditation 106 

A form of confessing our sins, before we come to receive the 

most Holy Sacrament 107 

Another form of Confession 109 

A Meditation on these words, Whence cometh this, that my Lord 
Cometh unto me ? 112 


A Meditation upon these words of the Centurion, Lord, I am not 
worthy, &c 113 

A Meditation upon these words. But only say the word, &c 115 


A Meditation upon these words, I will come and cure him 117 

Soliloquy upon these words. From whence cometh it? 118 


A Meditation upon that wliich St. Paul teachethin 1 Corinthians, 
xi. 28 120 


A Meditation upon that of the Prodigal Son, when he was receiv- 
ed of his Father 122 

The Soliloquy upon this Preparation 123 

A Meditation for the Day we are to Communicate 126 


A Meditation upon the History of Zacchxus 128 

The Application of tliis History 129 

The Fruit 130 

The Soliloquy 130 


A Meditation upon these words. To-day I must abide in thine 
house 133 

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A short form of Confession, to be made in Private before the 
receiving of the blessed Sacrament 135 


An Admonition, moving Christians to reconcile themselves, and 
forgive tlieir enemies, before they come to be Partakers of 
the most Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper 137 


Of the Manner in particular how the Faithful Communicant is to 
examine himself 146 

Of Restitution to be made 151 


Other Rules concerning a Christian's examining himself before he 
come to the Holy Communion 154 


Of Quietness of Mind before the Receiving of the Holy Communion 156 


Pious Considerations before we come to the Lord's Supper 159 


Of External Reverence, and Kneeling at the Time of Receiving 

the Holy Sacrament 161 



A Prayer to God the Father, to be said before the Holy Commun- 


A Prayer to God the Son, before the Holy Communion 167 

A Prayer to God the Holy Ghost 107 


Of the Devout Man, to whom Christ in His Last Supper sheweth 

favour 170 

The Fruit of this Meditation 171 

The Soliloquy 171 


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Wlien you are about to Communicate, and are now receiving the 
most Holy Eucharist, meditate upon these sayings of Holy 
Scripture 17 3 


Of the great Esteem and Devotion given by the ancient Fathers 
to this most Holy Sacrament 1"6 


A Form of Thanksgiving, after the Receiving of the most Holy 
Communion 178 


Another Form of Thanksgiving 180 

The Soliloquy 180 


The Eleventh General Meditation, to be used after the Receiving 

of the Blessed Sacrament 183 

The Fruit of this Meditation 186 

The Soliloquy 186 


Cautions to be observed of the Devout Cliristian after his receiv- 
ing the Holy Sacrament 188 


Considerations concerning Newness of Life : to be used after the 
receiving of the Holy Communion 191 

Remedies against Pride and Vain Glory 195 

Remedies against Covetousness 196 

Remedies against Luxuriousness of Life 198 

Remedies against Anger 199 

Remedies against Envy 200 






Remedies against Gluttony 2U1 

Remedies against Sloth 202 

The chiefest figures of the most Holy Sacrament 204 


Names of Excellence attributed unto the Holy Sacrament ; and 
gathered out of the writings of the Ancient Fathers 212 


A short Meditation on these names of Excellency 213 


Certain short Meditations upon the Passion : to be used before 

or after tlie receiving of the Holy Communion 214 

A Prayer upon the Passion 211) 

A Prayer of St. Augustine 220 

The Twelfth Meditation concerning the Spiriual Communion of 
Christ, when the Sacramental may not be had 224 


That this Holy Sacrament is given to the Sick as necessary for 
the time of the last agony 227 

What he ought to do who is upon short warning to Commimlcate, 232 
before he come to the Holy Table of the Lord 230 


The manner of Communicating used by a certain Virgin 232 

Certain brief Questions and Answers conceming the blessed Sa- 
crament 237 


These few observations sliould be obser\'ed by us before our ac- 
cess unto the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper 239 


A Diologue of the most Holy Communion between Mundanus and 
Spiritualis ; a Worldly Man and a Spiritual Man. 240 







Another Dialogue, wherein is discussed the Doctrine and Benefit 
of the Blessed Sacrament 252 


A Prayer before the receiving of the Communion 254 

Another Prayer before the Communion 255 

A Thanksgiving after the (Communion 256 

Another Thanksgiving after the Communion 256 

Ejaculatory, or short Prayers, to be used after receiving of the 
Holy Communion ; 257 


Causes why the daily Communion, or the celebration of the 
Lord's Supper every Sabbath day, is not now in use, as it was 
in the Primitive Church 260 


An Exhortation unto the Holy Communion, moving every de- 
vout Christian to repair often unto the same 262 


Of the Spiritual Hunger we have, or ought to have, often to Com- 
municate ; and inducements unto the same 267 

For the affecting of the conscience, three things are principally 
to be thought upon in the very time of Communicating 267 

Christian Considerations to be thought upon by every one of us, 
both before and after the Holy Communion 268 


Devout Considerations to be used after the receiving of the Holy 
Sacrament 270 

Meditations accommodated to the several parts and Petitions 
contained in the Lord's Prayer, which prayer is wont to be 
prayed after our receiving 271 

Of the vigilant care a Christian ought to have of not falling away 
from a good and godly course of life 273 

A Prayer to obtain perseverance 274 

Unto a fruitful receiving the Hnly Sacrament, three things are re- 
quired 275 


An Admonition to the Godly Reader concerning the Controversy 
about ihe Holy Eucharist, against sundry Reasons of Cardinal 
Bellannine ■ 277 

The Perorallon, or summing up by i)raycr the Admonition about 
the Controversy 294 




Q ;; O 



Godly Meditations upon the Passion of our Lord and Saviour Je- 
sus Christ ; necessary to be used before and after the Holy 

Communion 2% 

The Fruits of this Meditation 297 

A Colloquy of the Soul with Christ, touching the Passion 298 


Of the manner in particular how to meditate on the Passion 300 

Certain brief Petitions to follow the former Meditations 301 


Godly Meditations upon the Divine Presence ; to stir up to a 
continual care of walking in the ways of God, after our receiv- 
ing the Lord's Supper 301 


How greatly this Exercise is commendrd in the Scriptures, and how 
special a care the Servant of God ouuht to place therein, being 
desirous to proceed in Godliness of liTinj^ 307 


Of the exceeding great Fruits of this Divine Exercise; and first of 
all, of the fruit of pureness of uiiiid 314 


How, by the contemplation of the Divine Presence, Temptation 
may be overcome, and perseverance in Virtue attained 319 


How, by this exercise of the Divine Presence, Stability of heart, 
the Perfection of Virtues, and outward Cleanness are attained 322 


How this exercise of the Divine Presence doth bring Spiritual Com- 
fort 325 


By what means this gift of liaving God present in our actions is to 
be had 328 


How this Exercise, and all other good and godly actions, ought not 

to be deferred 231 

A brief form of commending oncaielf to God 336 

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AMONGST other parts of divine worship, and 
religious duties of a Christian life, which 
knit men in love and service unto God, (for who 
should have the fruit but He that planted the tree,) 
there is none more solemn, none more divine, 
than is the celebration of the most Holy Sacra- 
ment of the Lord's Supper, in the due celebration 
whereof we present ourselves before God. We 
honour Him who hath honoured us, (miserable 
sinners that we are,) and thereby we become par- 
takers of our greatest good. 

1. Fasting humbleth, prayer beseecheth, repent- 
ance bewaileth, charity worketh, faith believeth . 




but the Holy Sacrament applieth all by Christ 
Jesus' merits to the salvation of our souls. 

2. If any ask (saith an ancient father) the Jews 
why they keep their Passover, all that they will 
answer is, to relate of a bondage in Egypt, of 
Pharaoh, their oppressor, of a Moses, God's ser- 
vant, their deliverer. But if any ask me, who am 
a Christian, of our heavenly Passover, I can shew 
him not of Moses, a servant, but of Christ Jesus, 
the only Son of God : of a more terrible Pharaoh, 
the prince of darkness ; of a more woful bondage, 
the shadow of death; and last of all, of a deliver- 
ance indeed by the Blood of that immaculate Lamb, 
once offered for the sins of the world.* 

3. For our comfortable access to this most Holy 
Service, let us call to mind the first institution of 
the same, how we have Christ's own precept, and 
His promise.! His precept. Hoc facile, do this ; 
His promise. Hoc est corpus meum, hie est sanguis 
mens, <SfC. This is My Body, which was given for 
you ; this is My Blood, which was shed for you ; 
as if here I offer you the benefit of My sufferings, 
and leave you a pledge at parting of My dearest love. 
Novum test amentum, a new testament, a new league 
or covenant between God and man, that God will 
now think on your sins in justice no more. 

4. Saint Austin, in his 118th Epistle, ad Janua- 
rium, saith, our Saviour deferred the institution of 

* Heb. ix. 28. t Matt. xxvi. 26. Luke xxii. 19. 

Q_ __Q 


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this most Divine Sacrament to the end of His life, 
as His last farewell, that the dignity and excellency 
thereof might make the more deep impression in 
His disciples' hearts, increase in them greater love 
and devotion after His departure from them. 

5. In the 14th and 16th of Exodus, God gave the 
people of Israel for the time of their abode in the 
wilderness manna from heaven, which manna they 
gathered until they came unto the land of promise. 
In like manner, so long as we remain in the wil- 
derness of this world, we are gathering this our 
heavenly manna : but when we come unto that 
promised Canaan, then need we gather manna no 

6. Christ our Saviour, when the time drew near, 
that He should be betrayed and delivered up unto 
death. He communeth with His disciples after this 
manner ; " I have earnestly desired to eat the 
Passover with you before I suffer,"* et acceptit pa- 
rtem , et benedixit, <SfC. And He took bread and 
blessed it ; in like manner He took the cup. In 
consecrating the elements of bread and wine, His 
prayers went up to heaven. His benefits remain 
with His Church here on earth. The visible ele- 
ments which He took and gave, declare two things; 
the one, that He would the morrow following make 
Himself an oblation for the redemption of many 
upon the altar of the cross ; the other, that He 

* Luke xxii. 15. 

o . 


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would become unto the faithful by this means a 
divine sustenance for their souls. And thus He 
provideth for Himself an altar ; for His, a table. — 
In both God hath the glory, and man the benefit. 


1. Consider how God created the world for 
man, and man only, to worship his Creator; a most 
excellent part of which worship is the Holy Sa- 

2. Consider how the Lord Jesus, foreseeing the 
good of His Church and the affliction of His apos- 
tles to follow after His passion, knowing what 
they should need, and what we all of us should need, 
decreed to leave unto them and to us the Holy 
Eucharist, that they and we might receive help 
and strength by virtue thereof. 

3. Consider how this help and strength is had 
by a spiritual repast ; that as nourishments and 
the body nourished become one, so Christ and 
faithful receivers do become one with the Son of 
God Himself. 

4. Consider Christ our Saviour in His passion 
as a testator ; His inheritance is in heaven. His 
legacies are His grace, the executor is the Holy 
Ghost, His testament or will are promises of life 
laid down in His word, the seals are the two Sa- 

Q ___C 


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craments, confirming these promises unto all faith- 
ful believers. 

5. Consider how the faithful communicants do 
receive that which the words sound, to wit, pre- 
servation unto life everlasting, both of their bodies 
and souls. 


The fruit of this meditation is this, that every 
one dispose himself with all devotion to this holy- 
institution ; that he leave all earthly cogitations 
beneath, as Abraham in the 22d of Genesis did his 
servants, when he went up to the mount to do 
sacrifice unto God. 


Omnipotent and everlasting God, make me, I 
beseech thee, Thy unworthy servant ; what said I ? 
Thy servant? yea, rather by reason of sin, Thine 
enemy. O Lord, make me careful in the perform- 
ance of this, so high a part of thy holy worship. 
I come, Lord, as the sick to the physician of life, 
as an offender to the Lord of mercy, as the blind to 
the light of the eternal Sun, as the poor and needy 
to the God of heaven and earth, rich in mercy ; 
therefore, O Lord, cure my infirmities, pardon ray 

: — o 





offences, lighten my blindness, enrich my poverty, 
grant that I may with such reA'erence receive this 
heavenly manna with such contrition and devotion, 
with such purity and faith, with such a purpose 
and intent; as is expedient for my salvation. — 
And grant that at last I may behold perpetually 
Thy beloved Son, with face revealed, whom now 
I receive in the way by faith only ; who liveth and 
reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, 
for ever and ever. Amen. 



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OR that this Sacrament is a Sacrament of love, 
.and left unto us from the love of our beloved 
Saviour, it is convenient that to put away the suspi- 
cion of ingratitude, it be received and handled 
with love chiefly, seeing we can requite in no other 
thing the love declared in ordaining this Sacra- 
ment, so full of love, than by love : of which love 
God would that we should dispose, and so change 
it into what we see most pleasing to Him : where- 
upon as Christ our Saviour, while He giveth Him- 
self to us for meat, giveth us a token of His high- 
est love with His grace, with so many merits of 
His preachings, labours, fastings, prayers ; so we, 
when we give to God our love, we do give Him all 
things which we have most precious. Hence it 
cometh that God doth more esteem, and that more 
worthily too, of this one love, than of all other 
things in the world, neither doth He require any 
other thing of us : when elsewhere he saith, " My 
Son, give me thy heart,''* that is to say, the love 

* Prov. xxiii. 26. 

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which is thine. When Christ our Saviour hum- 
bled Himself to be baptized of John Baptist,* it 
made John more humble himself to Christ. His 
love should wound our hearts, and make us love 
Him who is love itself; and this love of His is 
manifest to us by instituting this most Holy Sacra- 
ment. When Nathan the prophet would shew 
King David t what love the poor man bare to that 
ewe lamb which he nourished in his bosom, he 
gave him, saith he, of his own meat, and drink of 
his own cup. Christ, to shew his love towards us, 
hath given us of His own bread, and of His own 
cup ; nay, He hath given us His own Body as 
bread, His own Blood as wine, for the nourish- 
ment of our souls. 

David wondered at the exceeding love of God, 
saying, " Who am I, O Lord God, that thou hast 
brought me unto this ?"| W^e may with admira- 
tion say, Lord, what is earth and ashes, that thou 
hast exalted the same to this dignity ? Almighty 
God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, so 
doth He to the faithful inflamed with love. 

God did highly honour Joshua in that He made 
the sun to stay until He had the victory ; but what 
honour had it been, had He brought the same sun 
down from heaven 1 This hath He done for us by 
the Son of righteousness, who exiled Himself 
thirty -three years from the throne of glory, and be- 

* Matt. iii. 14. t 2 Sam. xii. 3. t ^ Samuel vii. 18. 


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came the son of man, that we might be made the 
sons of God. 


1. Consider how in this Holy Mystery thou art 
bound to love the gift with the Giver. If when 
the people would have made Christ a King,* He 
had then sought to requite their favour, it had not 
been so much ; but when they gave Him gall to 
eat, and vinegar to drink, then to leave this testi- 
mony of favours and love, it was love without ex- 
ample. Had He bestowed this, so great a gift, on 
the Saints or Angels, it had not been so wonder- 
ful ; but bestowing it on poor sinners, this was 
pure love indeed. 

2. Consider how great care our Saviour hath 
shewed towards us, in instituting this Sacrament, 
seeing nothing could be given more excellent, 
more dear, when He loved His which were in the 
world, He loved them unto the end.f 

3. Consider what Saint Chrysostom saith ; Our 
Lord instituted this Divine Sacrament, that we 
might be made one with Him, forasmuch as He is 
such a meat as doth turn itself into the worthy re- 
ceiver. So hereby Christ doth draw us unto Him, 
with the bonds of love, and doth in this gift allure 
us to love Him. Heat doth turn the nourishment 

* John vi. 15. t John xvii. 26. 

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into the body nourished ; the same is done by fer- 
vency of love in faithful receivers. 


The fruit of this meditation is, that every one 
meditating on the love of Christ ask the question, 
and make the answer with the prophet quid reirl- 
buam, <SfC. " What shall I give unto the Lord for 
all the benefits He hath done unto me ? I will 
take the cup of salvation," &c.* 


O sweet Jesus, could it be that such was Thy 
love towards us, that when Thou wast the King 
of Glory, and Creator of all the w.)rld. Thou would- 
est Thyself be meat for Thine own creatures ? O 
Love, Thy love is too, too great ; for I thought 
sufficient, that which the Wise Man speaketh, — 
" Love is as strong as death."! But I see much 
more may be spoken of this Thy love, for Thy ar- 
rows overcoming heaven, do penetrate where 
death doth not come nor approach; Thou also dost 
fix this love in the heart of man, and not only 
pluck it away from all things created, but even 
from itself. 

It was sufficient that Thou wast given to us for 
a Lord and God, in which thing the prophet hath 

* Psalm cxvi. 12, 13. t Gant. viii. 6 

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placed his blessedness ; " Blessed are the people 
whose God is the Lord."* But love hath drawn 
thee to that which the wisdom of man cannot com- 
prehend ; and it remaineth most true that Thou, 
when Thou wast God of all majesty, most infinite 
and immortal, wast made man, didst die and suffer 
for us. 

When I consider that Thou in the selfsame time, 
wherein the streams of Thy tribulations did over- 
flow, wherein Thy only thought constrained a 
bloody sweat out of Thy body, forgetful of Thine 
own self, and all the torments which were prepar- 
ing, wast careful of procuring such a meat for us 
as might strengthen us in the state of grace until 
we see Thee in the state of glory. O amiable 
Jesu ! how truly is it written of Thj'^ love " Many 
waters could not extinguish this love, nor floods 
overwhelm it,"t namely, many waters of Thy pas- 
sion and floods of Thy grief could not withhold 
Thee, whereby Thou wouldest not provide and 
impart this singular and precious gift for us. 
sweet Jesus, it had been enough to call us breth- 
ren when Thou wast humbled on the earth ; but 
wilt thou so call us ascending to heaven, saying, 
" I ascend to my Father and your Father," &c. ; 
nay, to call the poor so, that Thou wouldest and 
wilt call them brethren, whatsoever ye did to the 
least of these. My brethren. 

* Psalm cxliv. 15. t Cant. viii. 7. 

o . ^o 

; Q 


The prophet Elisha greatly esteemed the cloak 
of his master Elijah, left him at his departure ; 
wherewith he divided the waters of Jordan, and 
passed over on dry foot :* but here the Lord and 
God of Elijah hath left unto thee not any garment, 
but His most sacred Body, that He may be a 
companion with thee in this laboursome pilgrim- 
age, in passing over the waters of tribulation, and 
a wholesome food of a spiritual life. Judge now, 
then, how much thou oughtest to relove Him, and 
with what ardent affection to receive Him. In 
the mean time, beseech this Benefactor, that it 
happen not unto thee, as unto the people of the 
Jews ; to whom, when our Lord Jesus offered 
Himself for their Master and Teacher, they, re- 
nouncing His doctrine and Mastership, kept still 
the covering of their eyes and, which was worse, 
joined to their blindness the sin of unthankful- 

* 2 Kings ii. 13. 

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MOST high and sumptuous is the preparation 
which wisdom hath ordained, bounty furnish- 
ed, and Christ Himself with His honourable pre- 
sence beautified. This preparation is not as in times 
past in the wilderness, or in the moveable taber- 
nacle of Moses ; or the fixed Temple of Solomon, 
but in a great chamber, a large upper room in the 
most ample Church, dispersed far and wide upon 
the face of the earth ; here Christ Himself is the 
giver and the gift ; the feeder and the food. 

It is said of Hezekiah* that he kept a passover, 
and such a passover as never was there any the 
like before ; but much more may be said of Christ's 
Holy Supper. Admire not any longer the sump- 
tuous preparation, or the greatness of the gift of 
king Ahasuerus in the fourth of Esther, after he 
betrothed unto him Esther in marriage ; for those 
gifts were earthly, and could not give life and spi- 
rit. Admire rather the precious gift of Christ given 
unto His Church, after He had espoused Her unto 

* 2 Chron. xxx. 


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Himself; which gift is heavenly, and of such in- 
finite value that it cannot be valued. 


1. Consider the great excellency of this holy 
and heavenly feast, where Christ, the true Paschal 
Lamb is received, the memory of His death and 
passion recounted, the mind filled with grace, and 
a pledge of future glory given unto us. 

2. Consider these five differences, which are 
between this feast and the feasts of the world. 

1. The feasts of the world are profane, for in 
them neither is there holy meat, neither are they 
ordained for the health of the soul ; but this feast 
is a sanctified feast, and ordained principally for 
the health of the soul. 

2. In the feasts of the world there are variety, 
and by how much the more the variety is the 
greater, by so much the more is the feast com- 
mended. In this spiritual banquet it is not so, 
wherein Christ being infinite, containeth in him 
all perfection, and can alone satisfy the soul. 

3. In the feasts of the world there is little speech 
had of death, suffering, afHiction, and tribulation, 
rather discourse is had of pleasures : but in the 
feast of Christ, the memorial of His death and 
passion. His sufferings of love for our salvation, is 

4. In this banquet, the mind is filled with the 
Q 5 

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grace of Christ, which bringeth salvation, and the 
increase of heavenly gifts : but in the banquets of 
the world the body is replenished with meats that 
often bring diseases to the body, and spiritual de- 
struction to the soul. 

5. In the feasts of the world, for the great ex- 
cess used in them, they open a way to hell ; but 
in this Holy feast Christ setteth open unto us the 
ready way unto Heaven. 


Consider how well pleasing it is to the Lord 
Jesus, that we do all these things in this feast, 
which guests invited of the prince to some solemn 
preparation are wont to do. 

1. They expect with great desire the hour of 
this feast, and give their diligent attendance, that 
they may come in decent and seemly manner, 
well adorned. 

2. They knowing that nothing is more accepta- 
ble unto the prince who inviteth them, than to feed 
heartily on the means prepared, they come with 
empty stomachs, and a desire to be satisfied. 

3. They diligently beware that they neither do 
nor speak any thing which may be offensive to the 
person who hath called them. 

4. They do not by and by depart, but stay 
awhile, and interchange familiar conference with 



the prince ; at one time praising his liberahty, at 
another the magnificence of the feast. ^ 

5. At their departure they yield reverence, and 
give humble thanks for the favour vouchsafed them. 
Acknowledging their bounden duty unto so noble 
a prince, they offer themselves to be ready at his 
pleasure to perform any service he shall command 

These properties of good and thankful guests 
should much rather be performed in this heavenly 
feast, whereunto we are called by the Son of God 
Himself : and therefore we should expect, receive 
with joy, and yield thanks : promising to serve 
Him in holiness and Righteousness all the days of 
our life. 


The fruit of these considerations may be drawn 
from a meditation of the greatness and magnifi- 
cence of this so Holy a Mystery, which greatness 
may Stir us up to be thankful to so liberal a Lord, 
who calleth to so great honour, and bestoweth so 
many benefits, yet requireth so few of us again. 


It is no marvel, O Lord, if the bountifulness of 
Thy Holy feast do make us astonished ; for Isaiah, 
in the twenty-fifth chapter of his prophecy, fore- 
seeing it many ages before, as a picture shadowed 

Q _ . Q 

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over, stood amazed thereat, and saith, to the praise 
and glory thereof, " The Lord of Hosts shall make 
to all people, on this hill, a feast of fat things."* 
Great shall this feast be, Holy prophet, for that 
not every one, but the Lord of Hosts, shall ordain 
it ; and that not to certain men alone, but to all the 
people of the vv^orld ; neither in every place, but on 
a hill. Lastly, it shall be a feast of fat things ; yea, 
of the most heavenly food that ever was. 

Be glad, O Holy Church, for that thou art that 
holy hill, chosen of God for that heavenly banquet : 
in thee doth stand the table prepared ; thy dear 
children are like the olive branches in the compass 

Arise, my soul, and depart from thyself forth- 
with out of this dark valley, for the Lord doth in- 
vite thee to His feast, not with thundering and 
lightning, as He did the children of Israel, in the 
19th of Exodus, but He inviteth thee with loving 
Avords, " Come unto the marriage."! That law 
doth not any longer stand in force ; " He that 
toucheth the hill shall die the death."| But rath- 
er, he that cometh to this hill, and eateth of this 
Sacrament, shall live for ever. 

But matk, my soul, that all cannot ascend to 
this hill, but only as the kingly prophet speaketh,|| 
the harmless and pure in heart ; and not after every 

* Isaiah xxv. 6. t Matthew xxii. 4. t Exodus xix. 12. 
II Psalm XV. 1. 

O : O 

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sort, but with a wedding garment,* wlierewith we 
ought to be decked at Christ's feasts, otherwise 
we shall hear these terrible words, " Cast him 
bound hand and foot into outer darkness." 

Woe be to me, Lord, who like the Prodigal 
Son,t by luxurious living have bewrayed and torn 
the garment of innocence received in Holy Bap- 
tism. Woe, wretched creature that I am, if Thou 
help me not, O Lord, I dare not appear at Thy 
holy feast. What shall I do, if for my sins I shall 
be refused of Thee ? What shall I do, when with 
shame I am forbidden to come without a wedding 
garment? Haply I may sew me a garment of 
leaves, as Adam did, after he left the garment of 
innocence given him of God : but alas ! that will 
as little profit me as it profited Adam, when he 
durst not come into God's sight with that garment, 
but hid himself; but if I hide myself, shall I not 
be deprived of thy heavenly and healthsome feast. 

I turn me, therefore, to Thee, O Father of mer- 
cy, and I confess that I have offended Thee after 
that manner, that I am no more worthy to be called 
Thy son ; but trusting in Thy infinite goodness, I 
beseech Thee that Thou wilt not respect the great- 
ness of my offences but the greatness of Thy good- 
ness. I am not worthy to be called Thy son, make 
me, Lord, as Thy meanest servant. Grant only 
the lowest room at Thy table and it sufficeth. 

♦ Matthew xxii. 11. t Luke xv. 13. 

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WONDERFUL is God in all His works; but 
in none more than in the holy institution of 
His Last Supper. 

Amongst other names of excellence which the 
prophet Esaias attributeth to the second Person in 
the holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, this is one : 
" His name is Wonderful."* How truly this is 
verified in this His holy institution may be left to 
the contemplation of faith, which is then most 
strong when human reason stands mute. 

When as Almighty God rained down manna 
amongst the people of Israel,! the people being 
amazed at the sight thereof, said manhu, that is, 
What is this ? And the thing seemed so wonder- 
ful, that they beholding it truly admirable, passed 
over as it were to the first word man. Lord, what 
is this 1 What is this, that the Son of God should 
take the nature of man, and after a spiritual and 
heavenly manner be given for meat to a new peo- 
ple, to whom all things are manifest in truth ? 

' Isaiah ix. 6. t Exodus xvi. 15. 



Q Q 


What is this, that He which dwelleth in Heaven, 
sitteth among the choir of angels, would come into 
the world, and after a wonderful and admirable 
manner, dwell with the sons of men ? What is 
this, that the Lord of Majesty, who is of the same 
substance with the Father and the Holy Ghost, 
will be made one with man, and take up His abode, 
with him? 

What meat is this, which doth cleanse our lep- 
rosy, comfort the conscience, and cure our souls ? 

What is this ? What piety is this ? What bow- 
els of mercy are these ? Surely the gift is worthy 
of the Giver. Solomon brake out into a certain 
kind of admiration, speaking of the ark of the cove- 
nant, in the first of 'Kings, ergone putandum est 
quod vere Deus habitat super terram, si eum et ccdi 
ccdorum caper e non posstint, quanta minus domus 
h(BC ? " And is it true indeed that God will abide 
on earth, whom the Heavens, nor the Heaven of 
Heavens, cannot contain, much less this house ?* 
O the depth of the wisdom of the Most Highest : 
Thy judgments are past finding out. But should 
we presume to lift up our eyes against those glis- 
tening beams whereby the sharpest eagle may be 
dazzled ? No, surely, for then there would be no 
end of admiration : superfluous were it to wade far ; 
we best know God's mysteries, when with all 

• 1 Kings viii. 27. 

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O— ^o 


thankfulness we admire them, and say Blessed be 
God in all His works. 

St. Chrysostora, in his 61st Homily to the Priests 
of Antioch, calleth this Sacrament the miracle of 
the mysteries of the Christian law, wherein our 
Saviour imparteth His Body and Blood, thereby to 
declare the desire wherewith He burneth of uni- 
ting Himself unto us, which is proper to them that 
love ardently Here Samson's riddle is solved: 
de comedente exivit cibus, de forti egressa est diil- 
cedo : Out of the eater came meat ; out of the 
strong came sweetness. What is stronger than 
the lion ? What sweeter than honey ? Christ is 
the Lion of the tribe of Judah : honey the spiritual 
sweetness of the Holy Eucharist. 


Of the wonderful things of this Sacrament. 

1. Let us behold with the eyes of faith, one of 
the greatest and most comfortable works of God 
under Heaven ; and for this inestimable benefit laud 
and praise His holy name. 

2. Let us with thankful hearts wonder at the 
love of God, who after He received us into His 
family, there placed us not as servants, but as 
sons ; and that he might shew the part of a care- 
ful Father, doth provide a mean to nourish us, 

6 o 

Q ^ 


and that after such a Divine manner of nourish- 

3. Consider the Divine Wisdom of the Son of 
God, who, respecting our weakness, hath conveyed 
unto us His Body and Blood after a Divine and 
Spiritual manner, under the forms of Bread and 

4. Consider how by this Holy Communion oc- 
casion is given to exercise our faith in prayer, that 
our receiving may be unto life everlasting. 

5. Consider the high and worthy effect of this 
heavenly food, which is not so much changed into 
the substance of the eater, as it doth rather change 
the eater into the substance of it ; the meat being 
Divine, doth make us also Divine. O the omni- 
potent wisdom and power of the love of God ! 


The fruit of this meditation is, to lift up our- 
selves above ourselves, and bless God for this won- 
derful benefit, without curious searching and need- 
less questioning about the manner how, but to give 
God thanks, and be ashamed rather at ourselves, 
that neither the wonderfulness of His power, nor 
the greatness of His benefits, can make us no 
more love Him than we do. 


O my soul, thou art happy which hast prepared 
for thee so wonderful and so high a repast, as there 

cb o 

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can be found none either in Heaven or earth high- 
er ; for in it is contained that which the apostle in 
the first and third to the Hebrews calleth the bright- 
ness of the glory of God ; but hidden, that He 
might heap on thee the more benefits ; thou know- 
est Moses descending from the Mount Sinai, on 
which he had talked with God, the children of 
Israel could not talk with him for the brightness 
of his face : wherefore, as the Scripture saith, 
" He put a covering before his face ;"* that all 
might speak with him. In like sort our heavenly 
Moses hath done, who, not content with thy deli- 
verance from the hard servitude of Egypt and spi- 
ritual Pharaoh, but that thou shouldest not be ter- 
rified with. the great brightness of His glory, after 
an ineffable manner doth come unto thee, and com- 
mune with thee. 

Jacob said, " Surely God is in this place, and I 
was not aware of it."t 

wonderful love, how far hast thou gone with 
my Lord ! Just cause hast thou, O my soul, to 
rejoice, and in rejoicing to admire the goodness of 
thy blessed Saviour ; cease to measure the great- 
ness of this work by the weakness of thine own 
understanding; say rather with the prophet, Me- 
moriam fecit mirabilium suorum, " The merciful 
Lord hath made a memorial of His wonders. He 
hath given meat to them that fear Him.":]: 

Exodus xxxiv. 33. t Genesis xxviii. 16. t Psalm cxi. 4, 5. 





When the Son of God clothed Himself with our 
-flesh, it was a work very admirable, for therein He 
assumed human nature mortal and passible ; but 
when the faithful receive the Holy Eucharist, man 
doth participate a divine nature immortal and hea- 
venly. Hence it was said of God by the Psalm- 
ist, Ta es magniis , faciens mirabilia, " Lord, Thou 
art great, doing wonderful things."* When Abra- 
ham weaned Isaac,! he made a feast ; Christ, to 
wean His disciples from the love of this world, 
made them this heavenly feast. 

* Psalm lixxvi. 10. t Genesis xxi. 8. 

o o 




WE may remember that which indeed we can- 
not forget, that as man consisteth of soul 
and body, so doth he also lead a twofold life ; the 
one corporeal, ready to fall into a thousand dangers 
and casualties ; the other spiritual, subject to as 
many, or more. The life of the body consisteth of 
the union of the soul with the body. The life of 
the soul consisteth of another union which is to 
be united to Christ. Both these as they have 
their defect, so have they also their remedies and 
sustentations ; for the life natural, God hath or- 
dained natural sustenance ; for the life supernatu- 
ral, supernatural nourishment. 

But that which at all times is most to be lament- 
ed, is that whereas the spiritual life is far more 
excellent than the temporal, the temporal notwith- 
standing is more regarded and preferred. For 
what thing doth not a sick body do to recover his 
O- O 

Q Q 


health ? He neglecteth all charges and griefs, he 
esteemeth nothing of the bitterness of medicines, 
he contemneth the sharpness of pains, the most 
experienced physicians, the best preservatives are 
then sought for, and all for bodily health, which 
endureth but for a little time. And are we so 
careful for the health of our souls 1 Would to 
God we were ! Then would we repair with more 
devotion than commonly we do unto this most Ho- 
ly Sacrament, where our spiritual life is preserved 
and strengthened. 

Three things there are, saith one, very neces- 
sary for the life of man : — the mother, which 
brings him forth ; the meat, which sustaineth him ; 
and the physician, which cures him when he is 

The same three things are necessary for the life 
spiritual. The mother, is Baptism ; the meat 
which sustaineth, is the Holy Eucharist ; the phy- 
sician to cure, is repentance. 

Now then, as the body without meat cannot en- 
dure labour and live, no more can the soul, without 
this spiritual repast, sustain the labours of this pil- 
grimage, the assaults of her enemies, and live. 
The air being corrupted when we go forth of 
doors, we fortify ourselves with some preserva- 
tives. This world is corrupted, our preservative 
against temptations is this Holy Eucharist. Men 
entering a way possessed with the enemy, arm 

o : — 6 




themselves with weapons, get them good company ; 
seeing we have in all the way of our life many 
enemies, visible and invisible, shall we not arm 
ourselves, and take unto us Christ our Captain ? 
" Put ye on," saith St. Paul, " the Lord Jesus."* 

* Romans xiii. 14. 







THE first and principal effect of the most Holy 
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is, as we 
may so speak, that it deifieth first, that is, it maketh 
man Divine, or like unto God himself! herein the 
state of grace, and hereafter in the state of glory ; 
and for this cause it is instituted in the form of 
nourishments. For as nourishments and the body 
nourished, become one ; so do Christ and the faith- 
ful receivers. Other meats receive life of the 
body, this giveth life to the soul. 

The second effect is, that with Christ are given 
unto us all His merits and rewards which He hath 
purchased ; here the hive is given us with the 

The third effect of this sacrament is that hereby 
a continual and constant remembrance of Christ 
Jesus our only Saviour, is continued ; whereby 
we shew his death until he come again.* 

The fourth effect is, to stir us up to the love of 
God and our neighbour. Of God, who first loved 

* 1 Corinthians xi. 26. 





US ; of our neighbour, for His sake, who hath given 
us this commandment, " that he who loveth God, 
should love his neighbour also."* 

5. The fifth effect is, that it doth sanctify and 
see also sanctified, not only our souls, but even our 
bodies also, by the power of Christ's Body. We 
know that the forbidden fruit received by our first 
parents, infected our souls and defiled our bodies ; 
it was meet, therefore, that this heavenly food 
should cause sanctification not only in our souls, 
but also in our bodies." So Christ will never send 
them away empty that they faint by the way, that 
follow Him, as the people did in the desert. f 

What, should we enter into that sea of the mani- 
fold effects of this Sacrament ! If I am sick, may 
the devout soul say, here I may cure me ; if I am 
whole, here I shall keep me ; if living, here I shall 
comfort me ; if dead in sin, here I shall raise me ; 
if I desire to burn with the love of God, here I 
may inflame me ; if I am cold in devotion, here I 
may warm me : if I am blind, here I may enlight- 
en me ; if spotted, here I may cleanse me. I will 
not fly as Adam sometimes did, from the presence 
of God, because here I can cover me ; nor run 
away for fear of the enemy, for here I shall find 
grace to strengthen me. 

St. Cyril, in his fourth book upon John, saith, 
" Here not only death is put to flight, but all spi- 

* 1 Johniv. 21. t Matthew liv. 15. 

c 6 

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ritual diseases that cause death are expelled ; the 
cruel and inordinate love of our members is re- 
pressed, and the perturbations of the mind quiet- 

Thomas Aquinas called this Sacrament a pre- 
cious banquet, admirable, wholesome, and full of 
all sweetness : and to provoke us the more to love 
it, he addeth, " Here sins are cleansed, virtues 
increased, the mind made fertile with all spiritual 
graces : and that when Christ saw His disciples 
to wax sad for His departifre, He left unto them 
this Sacrament for a singular comfort." 

Amongst these effects, this may not be omitted, 
that this holy Sacrament is a pledge of the Resur- 
rection, as it is mentioned in the hundredth canon 
of the first council of Nice : " For this eucharisti- 
cal food," saith Justin Martyr, Apol. 2, "is not 
received by concoction and alteration, but doth 
change the mortality of our bodies into His own 
nature, that is, into immortality, life and glory. 
Wherefore amongst other eflects this doth admon- 
ish us of the immortality of our bodies ; for as 
Christ's body did not remain in death, so also shall 
not ours : for it cannot be that our bodies should 
always remain in their sepulchres, seeing that they 
are nourished by Christ's body." — Ircen. lib. iv. ad 

O O 


Q O 



The fruits hereof may be reduced to these 
twelve : the first of all the properties is, that it 
serveth to quicken ; secondly, to set at liberty j 
thirdly, to inflame ; fourthly, to give patience in 
trouble ; fifthly, to nourish ; sixthly, to restore 
seventhly, to unite ; eighthly, to communicate 
ninthly, to make whole ; tenthly, to preserve 
eleventhly, to strengtjien; twelfthly, to conduct 
through. And therefore this Sacrament is called 
Viaticum, the provision for the way until we come 
to Him, who hath said, " I am the way." Elias 
passed his journey in the strength of the meat 
given him,* until he came to the Mount Horeb ; 
so we in the strength of this meat, until we come 
to the mount of Heaven. 

It is written of Obed-Edom in the second book 
of Samuel,t that he and his did prosper, because 
he received the ark of God into his house. How 
much more shall this be accomplished in those 
who receive Christ Jesus truly into their souls ? 


Consider, that as the soul newly created of God, 
so soon as it cometh into the body, which de- 
scended of Adam, is forthwith contaminated, and 

* 1 Kings xix. 8. t 2 Samuel vi 11. 

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O— Q 


made partaker of the whole evil and misery where- 
in he enwrapped mankind by his transgression ; so 
likewise as soon as the soul receiveth Christ, it is 
forthwith made partaker of His merits and righte- 
ousness. And this is one cause why this Sacra- 
ment is called a Communion, where after a spirit- 
ual manner datur nobis quod datur pro nobis, that 
is given to us which is given for us. 

2. Consider, that as He bringeth unto thee the 
fruit of His life and death. His resurrection and 
ascension ; so also He desi^eth to communicate 
thee unto His members. 

3. Consider, that the understanding is so en- 
lightened by this holy Sacrament, that it easily 
Cometh unto the knowledge of God ; whence the 
two disciples going to Emmaus straight upon the 
breaking of bread, as the scripture saith, " their 
eyes were opened, and they knew the Lord." 

4. Consider, that it was not the hem of the gar- 
ment, for what virtue could there be in so mean a 
subject to procure health? but it was the hem of 
Christ's garment. So it is not bread and wine, 
but this Bread and this Wine, that sanctifieth our 

5. Consider, how it reneweth God's grace, that 
like as bodily food doth renew that which natural 
heat had consumed, so this heavenly nourishment 
restoreth that which the soul, through the heat of 
evil desires had lost. 

G O 



6. Consider, it joineth us to Christ our Head, 
and also unto our neighbours, who are Christ's 
members ; provoking us to love them with true 
charity : and therefore this Sacrament is called of 
the Fathers, the Sacrament of Union and Love ; 
for Christ by giving His the same food, uniteth 
them unto Himself. 

St. Augustine writeth, that this Sacrament is 
instituted under the form of bread and wine, for 
that as bread is made of many grains, and the wine 
out of many grapes ; so the faithful, being many, 
they are by faith in Christ and unity among them- 
selves made one, as He into whom they are en- 
grafted is one. 

7. Consider, the great peace and tranqTiillity 
of the mind which cometh by this Sacrament, that 
as the ship was tossed and troubled before, but 
when Christ once came into it all was calm ; so 
in this world we are often troubled, but when 
Christ cometh all is quiet. 

We may call to mind what our Saviour would 
have His disciples say, into what house soever 
they entered, " Peace be unto this house ;"* how 
much more may be said of that heart where this 
Holy Mystery is truly and worthily received, 
Peace be unto this heart ? It is called a supper ; 
and after supper we are wont to take rest. 

* Luke X, 5. 
O— Q 

O Q 



Is, to desire with our whole heart to have part 
in these effects; to hunger and thirst after right- 
eousness : to remember that of the woman of Sa- 
maria, who when she heard Christ speak of the 
waters of life, said, " Give me. Lord, of this wa- 
ter."* So, O Lord, give us of this food, which 
may work in our souls these so many and so wor- 
thy effects. 


Dost thou desire to know,'0 my soul, with what 
good things Christ in this Holy Mystery hasteth 
unto thee ? How He cometh laden and enriched 
with so many merits and rewards ? Whatsoever 
He brought into the world, all those He exhibiteth 
in this most Divine Sacrament. He that minis- 
tereth such food to him that fighteth, what doth 
he keep in store for him that overcometh ? Surely 
in that immortal life, in that land of promise, He 
will fill thy desires with all happiness, which in 
this wilderness giveth thee such heavenly manna. 
And what doth He so much covet of thee, my soul, 
by this most noble food, than that He may plenti- 
fully reward thee with unspeakable graces ? Mark 
what He bringeth : more, I assure thee, than thou 

* John iv. 15. 

O O 





canst wish or desire. " Behold," saith He, " I 
stand at the door and knock : if any hear My voice, 
and shall open to Me the gate, I will enter in unto 
him, and sup with him."* 

What wilt thou do, my soul, in so great abun- 
dance of all good things ? Do what thou art able, 
and do it quickly. Be thou enlarged to receive 
such mysteries : make clean the place of thy 
heart ; prepare the upper room of thy best, and 
best disposed devotion ; exclude a mind beating 
upon vain and idle cogitations : exclude an entrance 
to evil desires ; yield acceptable passage to the 
bridegroom Christ Jesus ; gird up thy loins with 
the girdle of truth ; light the lamp of faith ; go forth 
to meet Him, and receive Him joyfully. 

* Rev. iii. 20. 






MAN. It is true, my soul, that this heavenly food 
doth bring with it many great and excellent 
effects to the living : but tell me, what doth it profit 
one dead ? 

Soul. Nothing. 

Man. Then will not this Sacrament do thee any 
good, if thou art one dead? 

Soul. But how can I die, being Immortal ? 

Man. It is true, thou canst not be extinguished 
with bodily death, like beasts without reason ; but 
thou mayest die well enough with spiritual death, 
which is by a separation of God's grace from thee : 
for as the death of the body consisteth in the sepa- 
ration of the soul from the body, so thy death by 
thy separation from Christ. 

Soul. Doth the grace of God give life to the 

Man. Yea, even as the soul giveth life unto the 

a o 

_ Q 


Soul. But who can depriA'e the soul of grace, 
which is the life thereof? 

Man. Sin ; as the prophet Ezekiel saith, (xviii. 
4.) " That soul that sinneth, it shall die ;" that is, 
shall be deprived of grace ; and what is more, of 
future glory. 

Soul. From whence hath sin that power ? 

Man. From God's just decree, and the very na- 
ture of sin, which is an offence done to God, a stain 
that soileth man, and that which obligeth man to a 

Soul. Well, seeing sin is so dangerous, I will 
not continue in the actions thereof any more. 

Man. Surely then shalt thou be happy in the 
end : and we shall be blessed partakers together of 
Christ's inestimable benefits both in this world 
and the world to come. 

o_ 5 





A CONSIDERATION of the obedience we 
all owe to the Author of this sacred Institu- 
tion, who in the ordaining thereof had no other end 
but the glory of God His Father, and man's true 
and perfect good. Si rem grandem dixisses, " Had 
he bade us do some great things, should we not 
have done them?"* 

A consideration had on behalf of our weakness 
who stand in need of so many assistant helps as 
we do, cannot but move us to use with all rever- 
ence, and desire with all our hearts' affection, this 
holy mean of receiving grace, left unto us by the 
Giver of Grace. For we do not celebrate a remem- 
brance only of some thing past, but we are parta- 
kers also of grace present ; which grace, though 
not from ex opere operaio, by that work done, yet 
by the Sacrament (as water from the fountain by 
the conduit pipes) is conveyed and derived unto us. 

* 2 Kin<rs v. 13. 



Q ^ 


That we offer unto God the sacrifice of laud and 
praise, give testimony unto men, we are members 
of that mystical body whereof Christ is the Head, 
shew evidently unto the world how desirous we 
are to continue in that holy union with God and 
man ; the only celebration of this most Holy Sa- 
crament doth well declare and shew, and the sun- 
dry and manifold eft'ects thereof, do give sufficient 
testimony in behalf of all faithful receivers. 


1. Consider, that the union of the body and soul 
is near, but the union of Christ and the faithful 
nearer ; that separable, this inseparable. 

2. Consider, that this most Divine Sacrament is 
ordained by Christ our Saviour as a most gracious 
mean to derive His grace unto us, to preserve us 
from evil, and also spiritually»to sustain and nour- 
ish our souls unto life everlasting. 

3. Consider, He hath left unto us this mystery, 
that by the benefits thereof we might be transformed 
unto Him, by living according to His will, which 
is no other thing than God to live in us. 

4. Consider, how much it concerneth us to re- 
turn careful duty unto Christ, to exercise religious 
actions of Christian piety, to offer God the sacri- 
fice of thanksgiving for the inestimable benefit of 

I our redemption, to observe and keep with all rever- 
O O 

o O 


ence this High and Holy Ordinance left unto us 
by His Son and our only Saviour and Redeemer : 
So be it. 


The fruit of this meditation is, to apply our dili- 
gence in the performing of this excellent part of 
God's service, and to remember that which w^as 
said to Moses, " Do according to the example 
which I shewed thee in the mount."* 


Thou art too loving, O my Saviour ; it had been 
sufficient to procure some remedy for us of Thy 
creatures, and we had taken it in great favour ; but 
it was not sufficient for Thy burning love, but 
Thou wouldst be Thyself a remedy for our souls, 
that the saying of the Wise Manf might be accom- 
plished in Thee. A faithful friend is the medicine 
of life and immortality : what friend more faithful 
than my blessed Saviour? what medicine of more 
efficacy than this Divine Sacrament ? But that 
Thou wouldest that the effect thereof should in 
part depend on us, that was an argument of love 

If bodily medicines should work according to 

* Exodus XXV. 49. t Ecclesisistes vi. 16. 

O ( 





the intent and desire of the sick, it would be very 
acceptable, and all sick folks would think them- 
selves bound to the authors thereof; how much 
more are we beholden to Thee, who with so great 
love hast provided for us a medicine of such effi- 
cacy, and so wholesome, that doth work more of 
itself than we can desire. 

How much, O Lord, do the laws of human 
philosophy differ from the laws of Thy love ! — 
What philosopher of the world hath ever written 
or thought that a King of all Majesty, the infinite 
sea of all perfectness, would leave Himself for 
food unto His own creatures ! What wisdom of 
this world had ever been able to conceive, that 
God, the King of all Glory, to the intent He might 
couple and unite man unto Himself, would be will- 
ing to become His meat? O my soul, stand 
amazed at the love of thy Saviour ; make an end 
of tears, bewail not any longer thine own vileness 
and weakness, for three loving sisters and advo- 
cates have pleaded thy cause and found favour : 
Mercy hath presented thine infirmity, and found 
grace ; Wisdom hath invented the means to obtain 
help; Love hath constrained Christ to put it in 
execution ! This is the means that Jesus, by the 
means of this most powerful Sacrament would 
unite Thee unto Himself, that thou mightest be 
made one with Him ; and to this end thou dost 
receive Him. 



Q o 


We give Thee thanks, O heavenly Adam, who 
hath restored that which the earthly Adam hath 
destroyed ; he by his meat caused us to depart 
from God, and Thou by Thy meat to be united to 
God. I pray Thee my loving Jesus, that this union 
may be firm and sound, that neither life nor death 
may separate us from Thee. Cause us, O Lord, 
that we may be wholly joined to Thee, that we 
may glory with the Apostle, and say, " We live, 
but now not we, but Christ liveth in us."* Amen. 

* Galatians ii. 20. 

6 — o 


or fiIequentixg or receiving often the 


T hath been shewed that the Holy Eucharist is 
the sustenance of the soul, as bread and wine 
are of the body ; but the soul being of far more 
excellency than the body, it were then most un- 
seemly that the body, which is transitory, should 
be often and carefully fed ; and the soul, which is 
accordini^" to the image of God, should be neglect- 
ed, and little respected. Meat, unless it be taken 
in due season, doth not profit the receiver : trea- 
sure that is not employed doth turn us to no bene- 
fit. The use therefore, and frequent use, of this 
Heavenly repast, is behoveful : we have no more 
special means to relieve our infirmities, to procure 
more light and strength, to know and overcome all 
temptations, to pass over this life with more peace 
and spiritual comfort, to be at our death more as- 
sisted with heavenly consolation, than by often 
participating of the Holy Eucharist. 

There are, saith one, three things among the 
rest Avhich do always hold men bound to God. 




The first is, the multitude of His benefits, for which 
we ought to give thanks : the second is, the muUi- 
tude of our sins, for which we ought to ask mercy : 
the third is, the muhitude of miseries and infirmi- 
ties, for which we are bound to seek a remedy. 
Now for the acknowledgment of our duty, the blot- 
ting out our offences, the relief of our miseries, 
there is at once no more strong and forcible a 
mean than the frequent use of this most Holy 
Sacrament, wherein we ofier praise upon the altar 
of our hearts, beg remission of our sins in His 
merits w^ho died for us, and receive strength against 
all the distresses of this troublesome world. 
Wherefore for man, who oweth so great and many 
things for benefits received, who so often labour- 
eth under the burden of his sins, whom so many 
necessities do environ, what better course than 
often to approach unto this Divine Mystery ? which 
is, says St. Bernard, physic to the sick ; the way 
to the traveller ; strength to the weak : joy to the 
whole ; a refuge to the poor ; counsel to the rich ; 
help to them that are in danger ; nay, heavenly 
comfort to the departing soul in the last agony. 

It is the manner of merchants to frequent those 
places where greater hope of gain groweth ; the 
poor are wont to flock thither where larger alms 
are given ; and should not the Christian repair 
where great and gainful gifts are distributed, when 
he findeth himself in misery, poor and distressed ! 



The love of God may move and invite sorne ; the 
beholding their own miseries should urge others : 
some the conscience of sin should induce ; others, 
a desire of obtaining grace : but the honour we all 
owe unto God should solicit all, seeing we have 
not a more high and excellent means of performing 
the same. 

One friend doth willingly come unto another : it 
is a sign of small love to Christ, when we come so 
seldom to His Holy Passover ; as on the contrary, 
His love is augmented more and more in us by 
often communicating. A great and loving remem- 
brance of His blessed Passion we celebrate in the 
frequent participation of this Holy Mystery ; " so 
often," saith the apostle, and therefore often, " you 
shew the Lord's death until He come."* 

Last of all, we see in winter, when the sun is 
farthest off, barrenness followeth : in the coldness 
of our devotion, when this mystery is neglected, 
what ensueth but cold love to God and man ; yea, 
and unaptness to all piety. 


1. Consider, that in the primitive Church, which 
was governed by the Apostles themselves, the 
Christians often communicated, which did shew 
that great devotion and ferventness of spirit did 

* 1 Corinthians xi. 26. 


o _ o 


possess the minds of men ; and evident it is, that 
by how much the more that godly custom did wax 
more cold, by so much the ferveutness and holiness 
of Christian people did wax less and less. 

2. Consider, that by often communicating, piety 
and perfection of life is augmented, the Christian 
man is made more religious, the body made chaste 
and obedient to the soul, the soul to God. 

3. Consider, that to receive Christ in the Sacra- 
ment with due preparation, is no other thing 
than to worship Him with great reverence : he, 
therefore, who by this Divine communicating doth 
often receive Him, worships Him with Divine 
honour ; and he who honoureth Christ on earth, 
shall be likewise honoured by His Heavenly Fa- 
ther in Heaven.* 

4. Consider, seeing this Divine Sacrament is 
the meat of the soul, wherewith it is strengthened 
and maintained in a spiritual life, it doth manifestly 
follow by how much the more often the soul is 
nourished with this meat, by so much the more 
perfect it is made a life spiritual. 

5. Consider, saith St. Bernard, Ser. de Ccena 
Dominica, if any do not so often feel so great emo- 
tions of anger, envy, carnality, let him think that 
by often communicating, God makes sound the 
corruptions of our nature. 


'John xii. 26. 

o o 

C D 



The fruit of this meditation is, to make a firm 
purpose of applying ourselves to this frequent and 
often communicating, to beseech the Lord that the 
soul may never loathe this heavenly food, but with 
an inward alfection desire it ; from Avhich affection 
springeth perseverance, and a readiness to sancti- 
mony and holiness of life, with a longing to walk 
before the Lord in uprightness, and that Holy 
hunger and thirst after righteousness which makes 
the godly blessed.* 


What grace is this, O sweet Jesu, which Thou 
dost affect me with 1 for Thou not only vouchsaf- 
est to open unto me the precious mine of gold lying 
in the field of the Holy Church, that is, the hidden 
treasure, for which the man that found it, sold all 
that he had to buy that field ; but also dost often 
invite me to dig for so precious a treasure, that 
Thou mayest enrich my soul. But that which 
draweth me into admiration is, that to the purchas- 
ing of this field, and digging this treasure as often 
as I will, thou hast added so great a commodity, 
that I need not sell any of my goods, much less all 
that I have. 

* Matthew v. 6. 

O- 6 

Q— — O 


Lord, if to obtain this treasure Thou hadst or- 
dained hard fasts, long pilgrimages, shedding of 
blood, and other sharp penances, all these labours 
and afflictions ought worthily to have been suffer- 
ed, to taste even but once Thy sacred Body : but, 
O love unheard of, that hadst rather make the en- 
trance easy and delectable, that I might often re- 
turn to this mine ! O Adam, how much better is 
the condition of thy posterity than was thine ; 
which is now brought to pass by the means of our 
loving aTid liberal Jesus ! Thou wast driven out 
of Paradise ; and that thou shouldest not return 
thither to eat of the tree of life and live, one of the 
cherubims, armed with a fiery sword, was set by 
the righteous God to keep it : we. Thy children, 
living in the Paradise of Thy Holy Church, are not 
only not driven away by an Angel with a fiery 
sword, but are invited of the Lord of Angels, by the 
fire of His love, to taste often the fruits of the tree 
of life ; yea, to receive Him who hath given all 
strength to the tree of life, that giveth us a blessed 
and everlasting life ; for so He inviting us hath 
promised ; " He who eateth of this bread shall 
live forever."* 

O, my soul, be somewhat stirred up, and magni- 
fy thy God, for He which is mighty hath done great 
things for thee ! Dost thou not see Him that He 
is made thy treasure to make thee rich ? Return 

• John vi. 58. 

o — o 





often to dig it ; it is a precious treasure, and there- 
fore it will satisfy thy desires ; it is infinite, and 
therefore will never decay, nor be made empty. 






IN the fifth chapter of Exodus, Pharaoh, to with- 
hold the people of God from doing sacrifice, 
causeth his task-masters to set them about 

It is the wiliness of the old serpent to draw us 
from performing this Holy service unto God, to 
make the world and the flesh distract our thoughts 
and desires, so to keep us from this spiritual part 
of God's Worship, either by a remiss and careless 
neglect, or at least by a timorous conceit of our 
unworthiness to approach unto the Table of our 

This careless and remiss neglect ariseth of our 
many incumbrances and businesses in the world. 
We can find time to follow profits and pleasures ; 
but to enter into this so serious business of our soul 
we are not at leisure ; we say, as Felix said to 
St. Paul, " We will hear of this another time."* 

Esau, to satisfy his appetite, left his patrimony : 

' Acts xxiv. 25. 





the Gergesenes, respecting their swine, neglected 
Christ's Heavenly Presence. What great indig- 
nity was offered unto the rich man,* who prepared 
a great supper, sent his servants to call them that 
were bidden to come in, when the unthankful 
guests returned answer. They were otherwise em- 
ployed, indeed they cared not for coming at all. 

If fear keep any away, because it may seem 
presumption to approach unto so Holy a place as 
the Altar of the Lord, let it be remembered, Christ 
calleth all that be weary and heavy laden, promis- 
ing to refresh them.f Penitent sinner, these 
words are Christ's words, because He spake them ; 
and they are thy words, for they are spoken unto 

If sloth and negligence draw us back, let a care- 
fulness of our state to come stir us forward in the 
work of our redemption. Did Christ our Saviour 
lightly perform the same ? No, verily. And 
shall we lightly regard this His service ; multa 
dixit, He said many things, multa fecit, He did 
many things ; mtilta pertuUt, He suffered many 
things. And should we either say or do, or suffer 
little, or nothing at all in His service ? God for- 
bid ! 

If any man find himself cold and slow, without 
desire and devotion towards this Heavenly meat, 
he ought not therefore to abstain from it, for he 

• Luke xiv. 16. t Matthew xi. 28. 

O : Q 


shall here find sensible devotion, when all the 
powers of the soul, and dispersed appetites, are 
gathered together, when our will and strength is 
forcibly carried to God, and we marvellously 
moved to honour the Passion of our Blessed Sa- 

The impediments therefore considered, we may 
endeavour then to avoid them, that so we may 
come and ofl'er our souls and bodies a sacrifice to 
God, that neither by the subtleness of Satan, the 
affairs of this world, the pleasures of the flesh, we 
be drawn away from so High and Heavenly a re- 
past, prepared for us, as is this great Mystery of 
man's salvation. 


1. Consider, that the devil cannot endure the 
use of this profitable Sacrament ; for he knoweth 
how much it is of force to attain blessedness, from 
whence he for his pride fell. And he hateth the 
Sacrament, for in it is represented our Saviour's 
Passion, by force whereof he is thrust from the 
tyranny which he would exercise upon men. 

2. Consider, for what causes the devil doth la- 
bour by divers means and arts to withdraw men 
from often communicating ; whence we may ga- 
ther how profitable this holy Sacrament is to the 


O Q 


soul, when it is manifest, it so much, displeaseth 
Satan, the capital enemy of our souls. 

3. Consider, that our nature is of itself prone to 
evil ; how the allurements of the flesh, the affairs 
of the world, are ready to carry us away from God's 
service ; and, therefore, by so much the more we 
should the rather shake off all impediments, and 
receive this Holy Eucharist, whereby we are 
strengthened to resist temptations, united unto 
Christ, and armed with His grace, which shall 
protect and save us. 

4. Consider, that whereas the Holy Sacrament 
is numbered among the greatest benefits given to 
us of God in this life, that we do in nothing more 
avoid the tokens of ingratitude, than by often com- 
municating the same benefit. " Do this in remem- 
brance of Me," as if it were a benefit to Him when 
we benefit ourselves. 

5. Consider, how the intermission of this Holy 
institution doth make men, in time, less religious. 
This neglect how it proceedeth, for the most part, 
for want of love ; for it cannot be that one should 
love Christ, and yet neglect His Holy Ordinance. 


The fruit of this meditation is, first, to beg of 
the Lord an inward affection and devotion to the 
Holy Sacrament ; next, strength against the temp- 
) O 



tations and allurements which seek to withdraw us 
from the same. 


Behold, now, O good Jesus, by how many means 
my infernal enemy endeavoureth to draw me away 
from Thy Heavenly Table ; at one time he assail- 
eth me in the faith of this most Holy and hidden 
Sacrament ; at another time he tortm-eth me with 
all scruples ; very often he striveth to pull me back 
for many human respects, and that he may effect 
his purpose, he laboureth that the world may with- 
draw me by the affairs thereof; and that the flesh 
should complain, her repentance and turning unto 
God is grievous unto her. O, my soul, if there 
were not an inestimable benefit received by this 
Holy Sacrament, the devil would not be trouble- 
some unto us ; yea, he would rejoice in the time 
misspent herein : but the enemy of man is not 
ignorant of the great good thct hereby cometh to 

Now behold, Lord, the assaults of this adver- 
sary of our souls ; I desire no other thing of Thee 
than that Thy servant Job desired and obtained. 
Place me by Thee, and let the hand of Avhomso- 
ever fighteth against me, do me no harm. Stand 
on my part, O Lord, and I shall be safe. 

None shall stay me from frequenting this Hea- 
C ^ O 


venly Sacrament. I pray Thee, therefore, my 
merciful Jesus, that like as Thou hast inspired 
me by Thy merciful goodness, that I might beg the 
taste of this precious meat ; so Thou mayest be- 
stow on me grace to frequent the same with joyful 
perseverance. Cause, O Lord, that the memory 
and desire of this Holy Sacrament fall not from 
me, otherwise I know that my heart will wax faint, 
and I shall be constrained to say with the prophet, 
" My heart is withered within me, that I forget to 
eat my bread." Let not the distrust of mine own 
vileness deter and fray me from such a Heavenly 
meat, so full of comfort ; to which humble desire, 
Lord, give Thy blessed grant. Amen. 


That to abstain from the Sacrament^ without just 
cause, is an impediment unto our spiritual profit. 

Many there are in the world, who upon careless- 
ness and negligence are not willing to give over 
worldly business, or to take pains to prepare them- 
selves for this special part of the service of God, 
abstain from the Holy Sacrament. Others com- 
plain they want sensible devotion ; and so not find- 
ing themselves so fit as they would wish them- 
selves, give over to approach unto this Holy Mys- 
tery. A third sort pretend they are not, and can- 

o 6 

c o 


not be, in perfect charity. A miserable case it is, 
that men should for mean and transitory things 
neglect Heavenly : nay, that which is most lamen- 
table, that they should in a manner study to per- 
suade themselves there is no God, because they 
would take no pains to serve Him ; neglecting all 
religious duties, and almost willing their souls 
should become like the souls of beasts, mortal and 
corruptible : that men should be so blind as to hurt 
themselves, because their enemies hurt them ! 

To work the beginning of a better alteration in 
these men's minds, let them consider whose crea- 
tures they are ; why God has sent them hither ; 
what He will require of them when they are de- 
parted hence. 

Now for human respects to neglect any longer 
our services due unto God, amongst which this of 
the Sacrament is most excellent, it is a great indig- 
nity, where God Himself is a party. Who would 
care for the coarse diet of Egypt, that may have 
manna from Heaven ? We should be careful not 
so much what we now do, as what one day we 
may wish we had done. 

As for those who, upon an opinion of their own 
unfitness and unworthiness, approach not unto this 
Holy Communion, or rather for that they have no 
spiritual hunger, but are dull and lumpish, having 
no dasire at all ; that have no fervour or devotion, 
but are dry and cold ; it may be said of them, " Holy 

o ( 

Q Q 


Father, forgive tliem, tliey know not what they 

When any find these wants and defects in them- 
selves, as many do, they ought to consider what 
they ought to do, for fear of further peril : they 
should not be discouraged, but remember to serve 
God, not only in prosperity, that is, when He 
sends them joyful and gladsome motions ; but also 
in times of adversity, or when He sends them sor- 
rowful. Let them know that voluntary want of 
fervour, which cometh of negligence, is the de- 
fault, and not that which sometimes feeleth not 
sensible devotion : to have desire and good-will to 
serve God in this coldness, is much acceptable, 
and sheweth that fidelity and loyalty we owe to 
God. For scruples of not being in charity, and 
the like, we ought not to abstain from the Holy 
Communion for every light cause, but to call to 
mind for Whose sake it is we are to love our very 

Be it thou art wretched, and miserable, and un- 
worthy of all good, thou oughtest not therefore 
to depart from this Holy Table, but rather with the 
more desire to fly unto God, considering he is that 
Lord who accepteth a sorrowful spirit, as a sacri- 
fice offered unto Him ; that He is the same now in 
Heaven that He was when He was conversant on 
earth. See in the Gospel, He never rejected any 
sinner, or distressed creature that would come unto 

O ■ O 

o o 


Him. He rejected not the publican ; He rejected 
not Mary Magdalen ; He rejected not the woman 
with the issue of blood : yea, we read that the blind, 
the lame, and all that were diseased, came unto 
Him, and that He cured them all : yea, when they 
could not come to Him, He was content to go to 

And here we have further to note that to come 
worthily and with due reverence unto this Holy 
Sacrament, may be understood two manner of 
ways ; one is conformable unto the dignity of the 
Lord Whom we receive, and in this sort cometh 
none worthily; no, though he should bestow all 
his time in preparing himself so long as the w'orld 
shall endure ; another manner to come worthily, 
and with due reverence, is in respect of that which 
God doth require at our hands, which is, to come 
in faith and repentance, and judging ourselves, pur- 
posing to lead a new life, and to walk from hence- 
forth in God's Holy laws : it is in our preparing, as 
it is in our alms, not according to that a man hath 
not, but according to that he hath ; in that as much 
as we can there is nothing wanting. 

o o 





SOUL. Shall I be so bold with Obed Edom, as 
to approach this sacred ark, and to receive the 
same into my house ? 

Faith. Why mayestthou not be so bold? 

Soul. Because I am weak, miserable, and ill 

Faith. He who cometh unto thee is both the 
physician and the medicine. He Himself hath said, 
" The whole need no physician, but the sick." He 
is the man in the Gospel that made a great sup- 
per, and bade guests to come in and to take part 
of it.* 

Soul. If John the Baptist sanctified even in his 
mother's womb, reputed himself unworthy to loose 
the latchets of Christ's shoes : and St. Peter, 
thinking himself unworthy of His presence, said. 
Go from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful creature ; 
how shall I, miserable sinner, dare to receive unto 
me so high a Mystery ? 

Faith. If He descended from heaven to save 

' Luke xiv. 16. 



Q Q 


sinners, if He call unto Him all that are weary and 
heavy laden, shall He not accept of thee if thou 
come, Himself calling thee to come ? 

Soul. What shall make me secure from punish- 
ment ? 

Faith. Humility and love. By humility thou 
shalt be exalted : by love thou shalt be rewarded. 
Come, therefore, unto Him by this Holy mean left 
unto thee. 

Soul. But if the Bethshemites,* were so sharply 
punished for looking into the ark, how may I pre- 
sume to receive the Lord of the ark Himself? 

Faith. The Bethshemites were worthily pun- 
ished, for they looked into the ark from curiosity ; 
they did not honour and reverence it as they ought 
to have done. Wherefore, if thou hast humility 
and love, thou needest not fear the punishment of 
the Bethshemites. 

Soul. But I cannot choose, but acknowledge 
with the centurion, that I am not worthy to receive 
Christ under my roof. 

Faith. The Lord maketh them worthy who ac- 
knowledge their own unworthiness ; wherefore, 
with all humble submission say, O Lord Jesus, I 
come unto Thee, beseeching Thee to turn away 
Thine eye from my sins ; if Thou wilt behold 
them, behold them Lord, not as a judge to punish 

* 1 Samuel vi. 19. 


) o 


them, but as a physician, to cure them. Cause, I 
beseech Thee, that ray infirmities may happen to 
Thy greater glory, as the infirmity of him did that 
was born blind.* Thou, delivering me a sinner, 
by so much the more shall Thy glory shine, by 
how much the more I am unworthy and miserable. 

* John ix. 3. 

o 6 




SINNER. I am not worthy to approach unto 
so high a place as the Table of the Lord, 
and, therefore I come so seldom as I do. 

Faith. Didst thou do this of true humility, and 
not of negligence rather, it were well. But I 
doubt thou dost it of sloth, because thou wilt not 
take pains to repent as thou oughtest. 

Sinner. The very truth is I am afraid. 

Faith. Why, man ? let the love of Him who so 
lovingly calleth thee banish fear. 

Sinner. But I am sinful in my own conscience, 
conscious to myself of sin. 

Faith. Who can say his heart is clean ? all 
have sinned, and all have gone astray. 

Sinner. But my sins are grievous, and, therefore, 
I absent myself. 

Faith. Are they grievous ? And therefore thou 
shouldest rather seek a remedy where it may be 

Sinner. But I have not sensible devotion to seek. 

Faith. Though we cannot be as strong as Sam- 



son, we must not let all alone. Christ will accept 
a good heart. 

Sinner. But I cannot so well dispose myself, 
yet by reason of the affairs of this world. 

Faith. God willeth us by His Apostle St. Peter, 
to cast all care of earthly things upon Him, be- 
cause we should cast our care about Heavenly. 

Sinner. But may I be so bold as to come and 
be partaker of so Holy a Mystery ? 

Faith. Thou mayest ; and therefore prepare 
faith and a penitent heart, and come in the name 
of God. Here is the wine that makes glad the 
heart of man ; what better comfort than from the 
Comforter Himself? comfort thyself, therefore, in 
God, let Him be thy only comfort. So be it. 

4 o 




WHAT shall I do, my sweet Jesus ! for two 
most strong captains do greatly assault me, 
that is to say. Fear and Love. Fear objecteth to 
my mind the highness of this most Divine Sacra- 
ment, which doth make me draw back my foot ; 
but Love sheweth me the excellency which this 
admirable Mystery doth procure, and makes me 
that with pleasant desire I dare go on, and come 
into Thy sight. O my Saviour, what shall I do ! 
if, overcome with fear, I depart further from Thy 
Holy Table, when Thou hast said, " Unless ye 
eat of the flesh of the Son of man, you shall not 
have life in you." 

If I be overcome with love, shall I be so bold 
without fear to receive the sacrament of so great a 
Majesty ? What then shall I do, my Saviour ! 
I know well the one cannot please thee without the 
other : for seeing Thou art our Father, love is wor- 
thily due unto Thee ; and seeing Thou art our 
Lord, fear and reverence. 


Q ( 


Wherefore I determine to give my diligence to 
both, to receive both into my company. Love shall 
cause that I come often and willingly ; Fear that 
I come reverently and with diligent preparation. 
And Thou my most gentle Redeemer, seeing Thou 
vouchsafest to invite me so often to Thy sacred 
feast, bring to pass that these two captains may 
not forsake me. O my Heavenly Father, for that 
Thou hast bound me with so many benefits unto 
Thee, and tied me with so great bonds of love, I 
beseech Thee by the same love which Thou dost 
always bear towards Thiae only begotten and belov- 
ed Son, that Thou wilt not leave me so bound, but 
rather draw me to Thy Son, seeing Thou hast pro- 
mised it to me by the prophet Hosea, when Thou ' 
sayest, " I will draw them unto Me with chains of 
love." Remember also, O ray blessed Saviour, 
that Thou hast promised this drawing, when Thou 
saidst, " When I am lifted up from the earth, I will 
draw all things unto Myself." Now, O Lord, Thou 
art exalted, it remaineth that Thou draw my heart 
unto Thee ; and when it cannot find where it may 
rest, like the dove, it may return to Thee, the ark 
of salvation. But if Thou, O Lord, dost not stretch 
forth Thy hand to draw it unto Thee into the ark, 
it shall stay without doors, and soon perish in the 
waters. Lord Jesus, receive me in, and I shall be 
safe. " Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation."* 

* Psalm xxxv. 3. 





THERE is, saith the Wise Man, a word cloth- 
ed with death ; God grant that it be not 
found in the house of Israel ! And there is too, 
saith the Apostle, an unworthy receiving of Christ 
unto condemnation :* and God grant it be not found 
amongst the Israel of Christ ? That which is to 
some the savour of life unto life, and these are the 
worthy receivers ; the same may be unto others 
the savour of death unto death, and these are the 

What is, therefore, more needful than to remove 
all dangerous impediments, which may hinder the 
fruit and efficacy of so high a Mystery, as to purge 
us of the leaven of sin and malice, of all sensual 
desires, faithless cogitations, impenitent affections, 
and all other evils whatsoever, which may with- 
draw the heart of man from God, and hinder the 
good of this sovereign medicine of our souls ? 

* 1 Corinthians xi. 27. 






The sun to them which are in health is pleasant 
and wholesome, but unto those who are pained 
in the head it falleth out to be far otherwise. A 
potion received in due season doth help the patient. 
The showers and dews of Heaven make the tree 
well planted to prosper and fructify ; but that tree 
which has some worm at the root, and doth wither 
upward, doth more and more decay for all this 
moisture. The soul rooted in faith and charity is 
a good plant, Avhich this Heavenly dew doth nour- 
ish : a corrupt conscience is that worm which 
maketh the withered tree to fade away, so long 
until the master of the vineyard say^ " Cut down 
the unprofitable tree, why cumbereth it the 
ground ? " Now therefore, that the faithful Chris- 
tian may be as the tree planted by the water's side, 
which shall bring forth his fruit in due season, let 
him in the name of God remove all dangerous im- 
pediments, as envy, evil concupiscence, infidelity, 
and the like : that he eat not of this Bread, and 
drink not of this Cup of the Lord unworthily. 



1. Consider, that the old Israelites did not re- 
ceive manna, so long as there remained in their 
houses the leaven of Egypt ; so, so long as sinful 
desires remain in our hearts, we receive not as we 
ought to receive our heavenly manna. 


c o 


2. Consider, that to come unworthily to the 
Holy Eucharist, as without faith, without devotion, 
without repentance, without reverence, is very 

3. Consider, how respectful we should be in 
coming to this Holy Mystery, how careful, how 

4. Solomon saith, " When thou sittest to eat 
with a ruler, consider diligently what is set before 

5. Abraham, when he was making his offering 
to God,t the fowls came to hinder Abraham's offer- 
ing, as wandering thoughts would do ours : Abra- 
ham arose, and drove them away. 

6. Ahimelech asked David if his men were 
cleansed, before they were permitted to eat of the 

7. God said to Moses, " Put off thy shoes, for 
the place where thou standest is Holy ground." || 


The fruit of this meditation is, to prepare our- 
selves in the best and most reverent manner we 
can, that we eat not Panem Domini contra Domi- 
num, the Bread of the Lord against the Lord, 
as St. Austin speaketh ; to remove all dangerous 

• Prov. xxiii. 1. t Gen. xv. 11. t 1 Sam. xxi. 4. II Exod. iii. 5. 

6 ^ 6 

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impediments, to be sorry for our sins past, and re- 
solve upon amendment for the time to come. 


Seest thou not, my soul, that it is thy part to 
come with all devotion and attention of mind to 
this Holy Sacrament? Remember, that when God 
was to talk with Moses upon the mount, how he 
commanded that neither Man nor beast should ap- 
proach the mountain,* lest Moses by the sight of 
any creature should be disturbed : yea, that he 
should have fitter opportunity of attention without 
distraction, the whole hill was covered with a great 
and dark cloud, the multitude were conunanded 
to sanctify themselves, yea, to wash their very 

No otherwise, my soul, do thou, that no evil af- 
fection come with thee unto the Holy Altar, which 
may draw thee from devotion ; here God doth ex- 
pect thee. Consider with thyself, that He can 
never be truly desired, and loved of thee, unless 
in coming to this sacred Table thou clean for- 
get all earthly things. Hear what the Kingly 
prophet saith ; " My daughter, hearken and consi- 
der, incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, 
and thy father's house ; so shall the King have 
pleasure in thy beauty, for He is Thy Lord God, 

* Exodus xix. 13. 

o— ^ — o 


and worship thou Him."* But, Lord, what shall 
I do to attain this devotion ! for my mind doth re- 
main so corrupt, since that general fall of our first 
father, Adam, that oftentimes against my will it 
wandereth vagrant where it should not. What 
shall I do ! when my infernal enemy endeavoureth 
by many earthly occasions, to draw me away from 
this Heavenly Table, and to come (which is no 
less fearful) unworthily unto the same. Thou 
seest, O merciful Jesus, in what state I stand, that 
is to say, how weak 1 am by nature ; help, I be- 
seech Thee, my weakness with Thy holy grace, 
that all defects removed, I may approach unto Thy 
Heavenly table with heart and soul prepared. 

* Psalm xlv. 10, 11. 

c ■ o 





IF in our earthly aftairs we oftentimes forget 
Heavenly, good reason it is that in our Heav- 
enly we should much rather forget all earthly, and 
prepare ourselves for this so solemn a Sacrifice, 
which doth consecrate man unto God. 

Christ sent two of His Disciples before to make 
ready the upper room, where He would keep His 
Maundy with His Apostles ; our faith and repent- 
ance, as two messengers, must prepare beforehand 
the upper rooms of our souls. 

When God appeared unto His servant Moses 
in the bush. He willed him to put oft" his shoes, 
because the place was Holy ; " The place where 
thou standest," saith He, " is Holy ground." 

The Israelites keeping their Passover, put leaven 
out of their houses. Christ washeth His Disci- 
ples' feet before He did eat with them, or they 
with Him. Say St. Peter what he will, we have 
need to be washed. The prophet David saith, " I 



; O 


will wash my hands in imiocency, and so will go 
to Thine Altar."* Esther coming to find grace 
and favour in the sight of Ahasiierus, first hum- 
bleth herself by fasting and prayer; Jacob coming 
for a blessing, putteth on Esau's garment. We are 
approaching to the Lord's Altar* we are coming for 
a blessing, seeking favour ; what should we do 
else but wash our hearts by faith in the Blood of 
the Lamb, humble our souls by fasting before we 
participate of the Blessed Sacrament, as if we will 
serve God before we serve ourselves, and so come 
and take unto us the garment of Christ's Right- 

Again, it behoveth every one that will safely 
come to this Table of the Lord, to direct all his 
affections and desires to God only ; to do nothing, 
to afl^ect nothing, but God's pleasure respected. 

For him that will rightly be partaker of this 
Holy Mystery ; 

1. Faith is necessary, whereby he belicveth re- 
mission of his sins in Christ's merits. 

2. Repentance is necessary, Avhereby he ac- 
knowledgeth the greatness of his sin,judgeth him- 
self; and judging himself, he shall not be judged 
of God. 

3. Charity is required, whereby the mind is at 
peace and quiet with God and men : and he that 
dwelleth in charity, saith St. John, dwelleth in 

* Psalm xxvi. 6. 



God, and God in liim : dwelleth in God, what 
more secure ? and God in him, what more sweet ? 

4. Attention must be had that he be not carried 
away from respective devotion, and chiefly from 
the meditation of Christ's Passion, His descent in- 
to hell. His resurrection the third day, His ascen- 
sion up into Heaven, His glorious sitting at the 
right hand of God, from \\%ence he shall come at 
the end of the world to judge both the quick and 

'>. Constancy is necessary, or a resolution to be 
constant ; for he hath said, " Be thou faithful unto 
death, and I will give thee a crown of life."* 


1. Consider, how busy aud careful Martha was 
to receive Christ into her house;! ^md therefore 
much more careful should every one be to receive 
Him into his heart. 

2. Consider, what reverence and devotion is 
meet, by that of the Prophet, spoken of Christ's 
entrance into Heaven : " Be ye lifted up ye ever- 
lasting gates, and the King of Glory shall come 

3. Consider, that to entertain an earthly prince, 
all things are made decent and clean. 

4. Consider, it was said to him that came to the 

* Rev. ii. 10. \ Luke x. 40. t Psalm x-xiv. 9. 

O ^ o 

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marriage feast after an unseemly manner, " Friend, 
how earnest thou hither, and hast not on a wedding 

5. Consider, that the Apostle St. Peter, when 
Christ would wash his feet, thought himself un- 
worthy that so great honour should be done unto 


The first is to prepare us with all humble reve- 
rence, but chiefly to offer unto God the sacrifice 
of a broken and contrite heart ; that as His Body 
was broken for us, so should our hearts be broken 
by contrition for our sins. 

The second is, to cry out with the Prophet, Crea 
in me Domine, novum cor : " Create in me, O 
Lord, a new heart." 

The third is, to become surveyors of ourselves ; 
and call a little consistory in our own souls. 

* Matthew xxii. 12. 






OLORD, Thou art not wont to drive away sin- 
ners, but callest them, and convertest them 
to Thee. Thou art He that hast said, " Come all 
that are weary and heavy laden."* 

It was publicly spoken of Thee, that Thou didst 
receive publicans and sinners, and didst eat with 
them. ray Lord, Thou art now at the Throne 
of Mercy, and therefore hast not changed Thy na- 
ture, which Thou hadst sometime here in the 
world. O my Lord, Thou still calledst them from 
Heaven whom Thou didst once call on earth : 
wherefore, comforted with this remembrance of 
Thy love, I come unto Thee laden, and labouring, 
and burdened Avith my sins. I come as the sick 
to the physician, beseeching Thee to heal me ; as 
a sinner to the wellspring of life, beseeching Thee 
to revive me : I acknowledge, I acknowledge my 
great unworthiness. 

If thine own Holy Apostle, or as he seemed, 

* Matthew xi. 28. 



; O 


prince of the Apostles, could cry out and say, " Go 
from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man," how 
much more shall I, who am the chief of sinners, 
say, I am not worthy to whom thou shouldst come : 
nay, I am not worthy to come unto Thee, much 
less to receive Thee ? 

It was lawful for none to taste of the shewbread 
which was only a shadow of this profound Myste- 
ry, but only for him who was clean and sanctified : 
how shall I eat thereof, who am so far removed 
from cleanliness. 

It was so great an offence to touch Thy sacred 
ark, that Uzzah stretching out his hand to touch it 
was suddenly stricken.* How can I not then but 
fear and tremble ! 

O Lord, as I fear the greatness, so do I also fear 
the multitude of my sins. I am that fool, that 
" said in his heart. There is no God."t I lived so 
dissolutely, as if (by manners I professed as much) 
I feared not Thy justice, I dreaded not to trans- 
gress Thy laws, I rendered not thanks as I ought. 
What other thing hath my life been, than a daily 
war against Thee ? What other thing have I done 
by my sins, and careless coming imto this mystery 
in former times, than offered Thee open wrong, 
stricken Thy Blessed Head with a reed ? My 
sins have been the spear that goaded Thee, the 
thorns that pierced Thee : how therefore shall I 

* 2 Samuel vi. 7. t Psalm xiv. I . 

o o 



be SO bold as to come unto Thee ? Shall I repose 
Thy sacred " Body in a den of dragons, a nest of 
scorpions ! What other thing is a soul full of sin ? 
Wherefore dost Thou cast Thy children's bread 
unto the dogs, and Thy precious margarite to 
swine ? How wilt Thou rest with me, O my Lord, 
who art the purity of a virgin, the fountain of all 
pulchritude ? Thy most Holy Body taken from 
the Cross, was wrapped in fine linen, laid in a 
new sepulchre, wherein never any was laid : but 
what part of my soul is clean 1 what new ? How 
then shall I receive Thee, O my Saviour and Re- 
deemer ? I am ashamed so often as I behold my- 
self in such a state ; I blush, considering what I 
am, and whither I am about to come. My refuge 
is, to fly unto Thy mercy, according to which 
mercy, O Lord, look upon me. Did the stones 
cleave asunder when Thou sufferedst Thy Pas- 
sion; and shall my stony heart be nothing moved, 
for whom Thou didst suffer ? Did the earth move, 
and shall my earthly mind stand immoveable, like 
a dead centre ? No, no, I am moved, my Sa- 
viour ! 


Take it not heinously, O my Lord, that being 
such a one as Thou seest me to be, I dare presume, 

o— 6 

o o 


to come into Thy sight. I remember, Thou wast 
not offended with the poor woman which had the 
issue of blood, but didst accept of her, saying, 
" Be of good comfort, daughter, thy Faith hath 
made thee whole."* I have a greater issue, and 
come to Thee to be cured. 

I call to mind Mary Magdalen, who washed 
Thy feet with her tears, and wiped them with the 
hair of her head. Behold, here lieth a sinner, who 
hath more sins, but fewer tears ; she was not the 
first, nor the last, whom Thy mercy received. — 
Receive me, O Lord, though I have not shed so 
many tears as may wash Thy feet, yet hast Thou 
shed as much blood as can wash away my sins. — 
my Lord, Thou hast not changed Thy office and 
nature, though Thou seemest to be far away. 

I read in the Holy Gospel, that all that were 
sick and diseased did resort unto Thee, and that 
the multitude sought to touch Thee, for there went 
virtue from Thee.j The lepers came unto Thee, 
and Thou, stretching forth Thy blessed hands, 
didst heal Them ; Thou gavest unto the blind their 
sight, unto the lame their limbs ; Thou didst cure 
the sick, dispossess the devil, raise the dead, and 
canst Thou now forget to shew mercy. Who art mer- 
cy itself? I come unto Thee, O my Redeemer, I 
come unto Thee, O eternal Creator, of Heaven and 
Earth, beseeching Thee, that as the Holy King Da- 

♦ Matthew ix. 22. t Luke vi. 19. 

c o 

C : O 


vid did accept at his table, and shew favour unto 
Mephibosheth,* though of himself deformed: yet for 
the love of Jonathan, of whom he was descended, 
willing thereby to honour the son for the father's 
sake ; so may it please Thee to admit me, though 
of myself most deformed, for the love of Him in 
Whom Thou art well pleased. 

I offer unto Thee, Lord, a humble heart ; 
and had I many hearts, I could offer them all unto 
Thee. Lord, I can be no more without Thee, nor 
live without Thee, than can this body of mine re- 
main, when life is taken from it. Wherefore ne- 
cessity driveth me unto Thee, and hope of mercy 
ministereth boldness, by how much the more un- 
worthy I am, by so much the more art Thou glori- 
fied in shewing mercy to me. Thy poor and un- 
worthy servant. 

* 2 Samuel ix. 11. 








HE bringeth himself that sendeth not another. 
He Who hath so many spirits, His minis- 
ters, Cometh Himself unto His servants ; He visit- 
eth His sick, lifteth up and comforteth the fallen, 
helpeth the afflicted, refresheth the hungry with 
His own Body and Blood, who aboundeth with so 
many, so divers means and medicines, as to whom 
the fullness of the earth doth appertain. He bring- 
eth Himself unto Thee, O my soul, as a father, 
when He pursueth thee with love, as a brother 
when he niaketh thee by adoption the Son of God ; 
as a fellow^ when he appointeth thee a co-heir of 
His heavenly kingdom ; as a Heavenly repast for 
thy eternal comfort ; and an intercessor for the 
remission of thy sins. O, the wonderful love of 
the Son of God. TJnde venit ? from whence com- 
eth this, that my Lord cometh unto me ? 



o o 



OLORD, hadst Thou rather be at another 
man's house with dishonour, than at Thine 
own with honour ? At least, good Jesu, if Thou 
hadst no respect of Thine honour, if Thou castest 
under foot all praise and renown, if Thou takest 
unto Thee every vile sinner, yet have regard to 
Thy estate. Lord, I confess " I am not worthy 
that Thou shouldest come under my roof." Thou 
knowest my poverty and need ; I have this poor 
cottage, far unmeet to entertain so great a guest as 
Thou, O my Lord. This body is not compact of 
gold and silver, but of dust and ashes ; and also 
subject to infirmities, diseases, and death. This 
soul, joined to ray body, is far from that holiness 





it should be endued with, far unmeet a place it is 
for such a personage. I am altogether con- 
founded, I tremble and shake at the coming of so 
great a guest into so poor a house as my soul is. 







AND art Thou ignorant, O my Lord, who 
Thou art ? What a one and how great 1 
Thou art God Omnipotent, Thou Lord of all ; 
Thou art the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and 
whatsoever is contained in the vast compass 
thereof. Thou hast raised me up, as all other 
• things else, of nothing ; Thou hast clothed me 
with this body, and hast given me in my first crea- 
tion a right and righteous soul : Thou hast restor- 
ed this soul, fallen from the state of innocency ; 
Thou hast illuminated it by grace and washed it in 
the Sacred font of Baptism. my Lord, Thou 
art He that rulest and governest me : Thou 
wouldest for my sake become man, die for me, 
sufter for me the very death of the Cross ; so 
much could love and charity prevail with Thee ; 
Lord, Thy grace is sufficient. And wilt Thou turn 
then into my house, to refresh my faint soul ; to 
cure me, being weak, and heal me, being sick. — 

o— o 

o o 


Will not the only word suffice, wherewith Thou 
hast cleansed the lepers, dispossessed the devils, 
raised the dead ? It will suffice, O my Lord ; the 
centurion said unto Thee, " I am not worthy that 
Thou shouldest come under my roof."* Dicver- 
bum ^t sanahitur servus mens : so say I unto thee, 
Die verbum et sanahitur anima mea ; " say the 
word, and my soul shall be healed." 

Matthew viii. 8. 

o o 





IF it please Thee so, neither wilt Thou have it 
otherwise ; behold thy servant be it unto me 
according to Thy word. Come down, Lord Jesu, 
or ever my soul dieth. Now a way lieth open un- 
to thee, O my soul, I will shew thee great joy ; 
rejoice and be glad, for thy Creator cometh unto 
thee ; thy Saviour cometh unto thee, who hath 
fought with thine enemies, sustained wounds, spent 
His life for thee : behold how he desireth to en- 
large thee with the most ample gift of His most 
blessed Divinity. Where wilt thou lay up these 
things, O my soul ? How great is He to whom the 
thrones and dominions serve ; on Whom the Holy 
Host of Heaven doth attend ? 

O my soul, admire the wonderful piety and in- 
eflable dignity with which He hasteth to visit thee, 
and maketh speed to come unto thee ! but arise, 
run forth to meet Him, hasten this meeting, rejoice 







and congratulate for the coming of such a guest : 
cry with a devout heart, " I>ord, what is man, that 
Thou art so mindful of him !"* 


Lord, how much dost thou submit Thyself, while 
Thou dost not disdain to enter into the vile cottage 
of my soul ! It was sufficient for Thy love, to be 
born for me in a stable. That Thou descendest 
from Heaven to rest in the womb of the blessed Vir- 
gin, was not such a marvel, for it was the womb of a 
most pure creature. O holy Elizabeth, who being 
visited and saluted by the Mother of Thy Lord, 
considering the dignity of this Majesty, didst say, 
" Whence cometh this unto me, that the Mother 
of my Lord cometh to me ?" . Therefore what shall 
I say, to whom the Lord Himself cometh, by in- 
finite parts far above the Virgin Mary ? He com- 
eth unto me, not only to visit me, but also to unite 
me to Him, and enrich me with Heavenly gifts. 
my soul, I greatly rejoice that thou hast deliv- 
ered to Jesus of thine own will, the government 
and possession of thyself; but understand that by 
this act thou art bound to proclaim open war to all 
sins, the capital enemies of the Lord, to Whom 
thou art delivered ; neither canst thou any more, 

* Psalm viii. 4. 

^ ^. . ^ ^ .0 

o o 


without manifest offence of rebellion, give an en- 
trance of sin into thine house, now dedicated unto 
Christ. O ray soul, enter into consideration, see 
with what bond of re-loving Jesus, Who hath loved 
thee first, thou art bound. O God, how unlike are 
Thy doings to the actions of the princes of this 

King Hezekiah, that he might declare his favour 
unto the ambassadors of the King of Babel shew- 
ed them all his riches and treasures,* not giving 
them any part thereof. Thou dost, O our most 
gracious Lord, not only show us Thy treasures, 
but freely bestowest them upon us. I see not, O 
my soul, how thou art able to recompense so great 
good-will, only yield thyself wholly to the love of 
thy Redeemer : for it cannot be that thou shouldest 
serve two masters. It cannot be that the ark of 
God and the idol of Dagonf should stand in one 
temple. If thou prostrate thyself to the love of 
creatures, thou shalt undergo a hard servitude ; but 
if thou follow Christ, thou shalt find rest and quiet. 
O my soul, we were created to serve and worship 
God : what higher part of His worship, than to 
come and be partakers of His Deity ! my soul 
be prepared ! 

* 2 Kings XX. 13. t 1 Samuel v. 4. 

o o 





/CONSIDER that the Apostle, in the prepara- 
^^ tion to the most Holy Communion, requireth 
three things ; the first is, that the communicant 
examine his own conscience, which is signified 
in these words, " Let a man prove himself, and 
so let him eat of this Bread, and drink of this 
Cup." If he find his conscience defiled Avith sin, 
let him make a humble and penitent confession of 
the same. 

Secondly, the apostle would that the Holy Eu- 
charist be received worthily, otherwise the danger 
is great, for he who with a corrupt mind and evil 
intention approacheth unto the Lord's Table, eat- 
eth and drinketh his own judgment. 

Thirdly, St. Paul would that a difl^erence be 
made between these Holy Elements, consecrated 
to a most Divine use, and the profane repasts of 
the body only. 



c o 


For the first of these, let a man prove or exam- 
ine himself. In proving or examining himself, first 
he is to consider whether he stand in the true faith 
of Christ, be sorry for his sins past, have a pur- 
pose to lead a new life for the time to come. 

Secondly, in proving himself he must go over 
all the ages of his life, all places wherein he hath 
lived, all companies wherein he hath conversed, to 
what faults he hath been most inclined, and so rip 
up his sins past as so many scars, and then go to 
Christ, the Physician that will cure them all. 

Thirdly, let him endeavour to be a worthy re- 
ceiver, coming with all humility, both of body and 

Let him take heed that he put a difference be- 
tween the Bread and Wine in this most Holy Sa- 
crament, and that which is common. 

Why in the old Law was the lamb brought home 
four days before it was offered 1 Sure that trial 
might be first made, whether or no he were fit to 
be offered. 

Why was the Passover eaten in the habit of pil- 
grims ? To shew that at this celebration we should 
call to mind that we are but pilgrims in this world. 

Why was it eaten with staves in their hands, 
and in haste? With staves, weak men need staves, 
especially the staff of faith ; in haste, because we 
are in the way wherein we have no long continu- 

o — o 






LUKE XV. 20. 

THOSE three things before instituted, which 
the Apostle requireth in our preparation to 
the Lord's Supper, may be considered in the re- 
ceiving home into his father's house of the prodi- 
gal son. 

First, he feeleth with grief his own misery ; he 
acknowledges his own unthriftiness ; confesseth 
his sins, whereby inclusively he craveth pardon ; 
which done, his father receiveth him. 

Secondly, he is clothed with a new garment, the 
best in the wardrobe, which may signify the cloth- 
ing of righteousness, "which is made white in 
the blood of the Lamb."* 

After all, he sitteth down at the table, eateth the 
fat calf, and because he was pined with misery, he 
had music to revive his spirits, and so he is re- 
ceived home with much joy. 

* Rev. vii. 14. 





Lord, although thy Apostle had never mention- 
ed the purity of conscience which is required in 
coming to this Divine Sacrament, who would not 
judge that Thou, the Fountain of all purity, ought- 
est to be received with a pure and clean heart 1 O 
most merciful Lord, how little dost Thou require 
of us to eat of that Lamb that taketh away the sins 
of the world ! 

The Jews, to eat their Paschal Lamb, which^ 
was but a shadow and figure of this, " ought to 
provide them a lamb of a year old,* without blem- 
ish, which wasted by fire, should be eaten with 
sweet bread and wild lettuce, with their loins girt, 
with their shoes on their feet. But unto the eat- 
ing of this true Lamb, which taketh away the sins 
of the world, we come with the sweet bread, to 
wit, the assured hope of delight, having our loins 
girt with chastity, our feet shod with pious aflec- 
tions, because our passage is by stony places ; 
though the way be hard, the end of the way will 
be joyous. 

Oh how true it is, my loving Jesus, which 
Thou hast said of Thy Law ; " My yoke is sweet, 
and My burden light." f 

Yea, truly, so light and sweet, that if there were 

* Exodus xii. 5. t Matthew xi. 30. 


o : 


not some that would imagin e a labour in the pre- 
cept, it should not deserve the name of a burden 
or yoke. 

O my soul, now thou seest to how few things 
Christ hath bound thee, and how he hath given 
thee abundance of His grace in this life, by the 
benefit of this most Holy Sacrament, and will give 
thee in the other life eternal glory ; only take 
heed to thyself, that seeing the Lord of His infi- 
nite goodness hath given thee so easily this ines- 
timable commodity, thou dost not again relapse 
into evil. 

Consider earnestly what thou shouldest do ? 
Not to receive regardfuUy so gentle a Lord Who 
cometh to enrich thee with His gifts, were great 
inhumanity, very pernicious unto thyself; but to 
receive Him unworthily by thy default were mere 
slothfulness, Avhich procureth injury to Him, and 
punishment unto thyself. 

Thou shalt do well to imitate the example of the 
poor countryman, who understanding that the king 
would rest in his house, removed all things which 
he thought might offend the king's eyes, did very 
diligently sweep all his house, and although he 
could not beautify it according to the worthiness of 
such a guest, yet he did as much as he was able, 
to receive him in seemly and decent manner. He 
goeth to meet the king with all speed, receiveth 
him with great joy, giveth him many thanks for 

Q ; 

c o 


this SO great favour. If then, so many things are 
done to an earthly king, what wilt thou do, O my 
soul, tj the King of kings, who cometh not to live 
at thy cost, but to impart his good gifts unto thee. 

Labour, therefore, in cleansing and decking thy- 
self ; hang the chamber or upper room of thy best 
devotion with »lie tapestry of holiness, and wel- 
come Him with love, who of love saith, " My de- 
light is to be with the sons of men."* 

The Shunamite saith unto her husband, " There 
is a holy man that used to go by us ; let us 
make him a little chamber, and set him there a bed, 
and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick ; and it 
shall be that when he cometh unto us, he shall 
turn in thither."+ So Christ coming by us, let us 
make him a chamber of humility, a bed of charity, 
where He may rest, a table where He may take 
His repast, a stool where He may sit by us, a 
candlestick of holy meditation, which may give 
light unto the house of our souls, that so as He 
passeth by He may turn in, and make his abode 
with us. 

* Prov. viii. 31. t 2 Kings iv. 9, 10. 

c — 6 





IN what day you are to communicate, as soon 
as you are awake early in the morning, think 
that the Lord doth expect you this day at His 
Heavenly Table, think of putting on the inward 
ornaments of the soul, as faith, repentance, devo- 
tion, charity, humbleness of mind, and such like. 

1. Consider, how Christ in His conception took 
our nature, and that we in this spiritual conception 
of Him, are to participate in His nature. 

2. Consider, you are to receive Him this day in 
the state of grace, who shall one day receive you 
in the state of glory. 

3. Consider, that of the first eating it was said, 
" That day thou eatest, thou shalt die ;" but by this 
eating, " That day thou eatest, thou shalt live."* 

4. Esteem thyself unworthy, and say. Sweet 
Jesus, what love is this Thou pursuest me withal ! 
Behold, Lord, I prepare myself this day to receive 

* John V. 51. 



o o 


Thee into the poor cottage of a humble heart : but 
alas, the wise man, Solomon himself, when he had 
in many years, and by much cost, built Thee a 
temple,* did notwithstanding marvel that Thou, 
the God of all Majesty, wouldest vouchsafe to 
abide and dwell in it : what shall I say, who have 
bestowed so little pains, so small cost, in preparing 
Thee a temple ? I beseech Thee to turn my soul 
into a house of prayer, and to whip out all evil af- 
fections, that it may be rightly said to be, domus 
tua, Thy house. 

5. Now " Holiness," saith the Psalmist, " be- 
cometh Thy house for ever." 

* 1 Kings, viii. 

c — — 6 






ZACCH^US, desirous to see Jesus, but for 
that he was of a low stature, he could not for 
the press, wherefore he goeth up into a sycamore 
tree, where Christ should pass by. 

2. Christ passeth by, and casting His merciful 
eyes on Zacchaeus, said, " Zacchaeus, make haste 
to come down, for to-day I must abide in thy 
house." He came down then rejoicing, and re- 
ceiveth Him into his house, thinking himself great- 
ly rewarded. 

3. The Jews, when they saw Christ turn into 
the house of a sinner, murmured: which Zacchs- 
us perceiving, turning to Christ he saith, " Be- 
hold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor ; 
and if I have defrauded any man, I restore four- 
fold. Jesus answering, saith. Salvation is come 

' unto thine house." Think of Zacchaeus ; though 
little in body, great in example ; rich in goods, but 
richer in goodness ; emptying his house of earthly 


p . ^ o 


riches, but filling it with Heavenly; giving not to 
them that can give again, but to the poor, who had 
not to give again ; think how he dealt wisely, prov- 
ing his own will, making his own hands his execu- 
tors, his own eyes his overseers. 


That thou raayest be partaker of salvation, which 
is offered in this Sacrament, it is necessary that 
thou be desirous to know and taste Christ, Who is 
after a Heavenly manner contained in the same. 
And to know Him, it is necessary, first, that thou 
lift up thy mind on high, and consider His great- 
ness, keeping in the meanwhile the ground under 
thy feet, as Zacchaeus kept it when he stood upon 
the tree ; that is, to procure that temporal business 
be then under our feet, and not over our head. 

2. We must receive our Lord, not with melan- 
choly or anguish of mind, distracted with worldly 
thoughts, but as Zacchajus did, receive Him with 
joy, which springeth from a vehement affection to- 
wards this Holy Sacrament. 

3. Consider, that it is not sufficient to receive 
Christ into our house, and then put the hand in the 
bosom : but we must furnish the Sacred Commu- 
nion with good works, by relieving the necessities 
of our poor neighbours, after the example of Zac- 
chajiis : and he which doeth so, shall hear that 

: f 

o ■■ o 


comfortable voice, " This day is salvation come in- 
tothy house." 

As Zacchaeus was willing to receive Jesus into 
his house, so let us be willing to receive Him into 
our hearts : as Christ said unto Zacchaeus, " This 
day must I abide in thy house," so saith he unto 
every one of us, This day must thy Redeemer 
abide with thee. 


The fruit of this meditation shall be, to desire 
and ask of Almighty God an affection to this Sa- 
crament ; from which afi'ection springeth spiritual 
consolation, necessary for the receiving of the 
Holy Sacrament. 


O my bountiful Jesus, how liberal art Thou to- 
wards him who doth desire and seek Thee! Zac- 
chaeus was held with a desire but of seeing Thee 
only ; and Thou not only didst show thyself of 
him to be seen, but also called him, and invited 
Thyself into his house ; on whom to augment Thy 
favour, thou bestowed salvation. Oh, how well 
hath the Psalmist said of Thee, " All nations seek- 
ing Thee shall rejoice and be glad : and let them 

o o 



say always which love Thy saving health, The 
Lord be praised."* 

Zacchaeus, thou worthily rejoicest, because thou 
hast Him in thy House, which maketh the An- 
gels rejoice ; only rejoice, and esteem it as nothing, 
if the Jews murmur, and call thee sinner, since He 
is at hand for thee Who can defend and justify 
thee ; join thyself to Him, and He will be as a 
buckler for thee, and thou shalt also understand 
how sweet the Lord is. my soul, thou hast also 
cause of rejoicing, and peradventure greater than 
Zacchajus had, seeing to thee also cometh the Foun- 
tain of all joy and gladness. Hear what the pro- 
phet Zechariah saith unto thee : " Rejoice, O 
daughter of Sion, and be glad, O daughter of Je- 
rusalem ; behold, thy righteous King and thy Sa- 
viour cometh unto thee !"* Nor cometh He to 
exact, or to command, any toilsome labour, but 
only for the cause of saving thee, and defending 
thee from the rebuke of thine enemies. Think 
not that a greater benefit is shewn unto Zacchaeus 
than to thee : for while thou dost spiritually receive 
Him in bread and wine by faith, and after a most 
Heavenly manner, He sheweth that He is come 
unto thee not only to converse with thee a little 
and be gone, but to bestow salvation, as He did on 
the house of Zacchaeus ; to unite Himself to thee, 

* Psalm ii. 19. f Zechariah ix. 9, 


o o 


that thou mayest be one with Him, which is the 
end of this His coming unto thee. 

Who doth not see, then, that this is a far greater 
benefit than Zacchaeus's was? O my gracious Lord, 
seeing thou hast vouchsafed to enter this poor 
house of mine, give me grace that it may not hap- 
pen to me as to the ungrateful Jews, who in the 
day of Palms received Thee with joy and triumph 
into Jerusalem, but a little after they cried to Pilate, 
" Crucify Him, crucify Him :" and casting Thy 
cross upon Thy shoulders, cast Thee forth out of 
their city. Let me die, O Lord, before ; yea, let 
me die a thousand deaths, than that I cast Thee 
out of me ; for that were to thrust Thee out of 
Thy own house, and myself out of Paradise. 







WHO am I, most bountiful Jesus, that Thou 
desirest to abide with me"? Who am I, 
that may deserve to entertain Thee, the Lord of 
Heaven and earth ? What dost thou find in me 
that doth so much delight Thee, and invite Thee to 
come under my roof? Art Thou ignorant of my 
most vile beginnins; ? I am not of the number of 
that Celestial Hierarchy, 1 am not a Seraphim, not 
an Archangel, not an Angel, nor any of the thrones, 
nor other most sacred spirits ; my being differs 
much from theirs ; freed are they from all admix- 
ture of body, pure and innocent are they ; I was 
born in sin, drawing my beginning from the earth, 
so mean a subject, I am not worthy, O my Saviour, 
of Thy Divine Presence ; happily. Thy delight is 
to be with the sons of men. True ; but I am not 
Abraham, I am not Moses, I am not as the Blessed 
Virgin : No, I bear not the least similitude to these 
blessed Saints in Heaven, while they remained in 



c- — o 


the world. What shall I say ? I am sorry, my 
Lord, I am no more worthy to receive Thee than 
I am : but my comfort is, that as Thou tookest 
mercy on the woman of Canaan, and all distressed 
people that came unto Thee, so Thou wilt take 
mercy upon me, in that Thou sayest. To-day Thou 
must abide in my house ; To-day, that is, now 
and for ever. Domine, fiat voluntas iva ; " Lord, 
Thy will be done." 

O O 





IMISERxlBLE sinner, confess and acknowl- 
5 edge with bended heart, and hands lifted up 
in the presence of Thee, O God, my many and ma- 
nifold sins, and that I have transgressed sundry 
ways against the precepts of the first and second 
table. I am sorry from the bottom of my heart ; 
and it grieveth me that I have so often offended 
Thee, my gracious God. I come unto Thee as a 
humble suitor, to obtain mercy and pardon for all my 
offences ; I beseech Thee to sanctify me by Thy 
Holy Spirit, to strengthen my faith against all as- 
saults of my ghostly enemy ; to seal up in me by 
this Holy Mystery that comfortable hope of the 
life to come. Direct me, I beseech Thee, now 
approaching to Thy Holy Table, that I may abide 
with Thee, and be a fit habitation for Thy Holy 
Presence, both now and forevermore. When I 
consider Thou didst create me, not being asked ; 

o — o 




redeem me, not being required ; it tumeth my tears 
of sorrow into tears of joy, my tears of fear into 
tears of love. my Saviour, shevp mercy ; foir by 
such great sinners as I am, Thou gettest greatest 
honour, as Thou didst by Mary Magdalen. 






it T'^7"HEN ihou bringest thy gift to the Altar," 
saith Christ our Saviour, " and there re- 

memberest that thy brother hath aught against 
thee, leave thine offering before the Altar, and go 
thy way, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and 
then come and offer thy gift."* Also he saith un- 
to His Disciples : " When you stand to pray, for- 
give, if you have aught against any man, that your 
Father vi^hich is in Heaven may forgive you your 
trespasses."! By both which sayings of the Son 
of God we learn that our oblations and prayers 
(otherwise in themselves amongst the best actions 
of a Christian life) are in no case acceptable unto 
God, without our reconcilement and charity first 
had with men. The Wise Man could think it un- 
meet in very reason to ask mercy, when we our- 

I * Matt. V. 23, 24. t Mark .\i. 25. 

o o 



selves deny mercy.* We may remember that the 
unthankful debtor that would not remit his fellow 
servant,! for his uncompassionate usage of his 
said fellow, found himself the like measure ; that 
is, judgment without mercy, at his master's hand. 

With what countenance, saith one, can we look 
up to Heaven, and say, " Lord, forgive us our tres- 
passes, as we forgive them that trespass against 
us ;" and yet revenge with all extremity the least 
offences offered unto ourselves ? No, no, he that 
seeketh vengeance, shall surely find vengeance. 
Mihi vimlictam. ego retrihuam ; " Vengeance is 
mine," saith the Lord, " I will revenge." We 
must let God alone to right our wrongs, unless we 
will usurp that power which is only proper unto 
Him : for ourselves, we should not forget the Wise 
Man's counsel, " Forgive thy neighbour the hurt 
which he hath done thee ; so shall thy sins also 
be forgiven thee when thou prayest." Should a 
man bear hatred against another, and desire for- 
giveness of the Lord ? St. Peter saith unto 
Christ, " Master, how often shall my brother sin 
against me, and I forgive him ? until seven times ?" 
No, Peter, saith our Saviour, " I say not unto 
thee, until seven times, but until seventy times 
seven ;"| that is, quoties toties, how often soever 
he sinneth against thee, so often shalt thou for- 
give him. 

* Ecclus. xxviii. 2, 3. t Matt, xviii. 30. t Matt, rv'iii. 21, 22. 

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The offering up of sacrifices in the old Law was 
a special part of that worship which the people 
were wont to perform unto Almighty God, as an 
acceptable service unto Him. But the prophet 
Isaiah tells them, all their offerings were utterly 
displeasing unto Him.* For why 1 they were all 
set on cruelty and revenge ; their hands were full 
of blood ; and therefore God would accept of no 
sacrifices at their hands. In our offerings, first the 
offerer is accepted, and then the offering. Our 
oblations that are done in love with God and rnan, 
those ascend like the smoke of Abel's sacrifice, 
and are well-pleasing unto the Most Highest. 

But how should flesh and blood forgive, where 
wrong and injury hath been offered ? That which 
Adam cannot bear, Christ can : that which to na- 
ture is so much against nature, and therefore diffi- 
cult, is to grace nothing so : that which heathen 
men will so hardly brook, is to Christians who 
have, or should have, a further perfection, more 
facile and easy. 

Therefore our Saviour tells His disciples of 
somewhat more than loving them who love first. 
Ego dico vobis, diligite inimicos ; " I say unto you 
love your enemies, do good unto them that hurt 
you, pray for them that persecute you :" we for- 
give, we love our very enemies for His sake, who 
hath done far more for us. " What greater love," 

' Isaiah i. 11. 

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saith St. John, " than one to give his life for his 
friend ?" Yet greater was Christ's love, who gave 
His life for us, that were His enemies. We have 
some reason to help the distressed, to relieve the 
poor and needy ; for the very beholding of their 
necessity doth often move compassion ; but to love 
our enemies we have no reason in the world, but 
only for His sake, who hath commanded all those 
who profess His name, and expect His kingdom, 
saying, Diligite inimicos ; " Love your enemies." 
We forgive, and why? Christ hath forgiven us. 
We shew mercy, and why ? Christ Jesus hath 
shewed mercy unto us. Quid contra nos proxi- 
mus, saith an ancient Father ; shall we see what 
our neighbour hath done against us ; and shall we 
not see what Christ hath done for us 1 God 
forbid ! 

All that we can do or can forgive are pence on- 
ly; Christ He forgives talents; we some few. He ten 
thousand : for number many, for weight heavy ; we 
shew love, but Christ shcweth love indeed, love 
without example. Were we as ready to remem- 
ber benefits, as we are injuries, we would be more 
charitable than we often are, writing our benefits 
in dust, and our injuries in marble. i 

But being ready to revenge, do we know how i 
soon we may stand in need of God ourselves ? — | 
No, verily ; and therefore we had need to shew 
compassion to others, lest we receive like for like. | 

6 o 


When as now Jacob their father was dead, Jo- 
seph's brethren thought Joseph would revenge all 
the wrong they before unjustly offered him their 
brother ; they were deceived, Joseph tells them he 
meant nothing less : "x\ml," saith he, "in the 
place of God?"* as if he should have said, Myself 
am ready to ask forgiveness of God, and should I 
not from my heart forgive you my brethren ? As 
if he should say, I do, I do. Wherefore one saith, 
Qualem erga te Deum habere vis, talem te erga 
proximum ostendas : " As thou wouldest have God 
be unto thee, so be thou to thy neighbour that hath 
offended thee." There were four things that 
might have moved the ungrateful servant to have 
forgiven the debt.f 1. That it was his fellow. — 
2. That the debt was small. 3. That he asked it 
in humble manner. 4. But chiefly that he himself 
had more forgiven him in the same cause. 

To move Christians to this love Christ our Sa- 
viour goeth further, and saith, " Forgive, that you 
may be the children of your Father which is in 
Heaven; for He causeth the sun to rise. on the 
just and on the unjust." It was a token that David 
was of the stock of Jesse when he would not only 
not hurt king Saul, his enemy, when he was alive, 
but would even shew mercy unto his offspring, 
when he was dead; " Is there any," saith he, " of 
the house of Saul, that I may do good unto them." 

* Genesis 1. 19. t Matt, xviii. 

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They give testimony that they are His follow- 
ers who prayed for his enemies ; Father forgive 
them who shew themselves ready to remit, and 
can find in their hearts to forgive ofl'ences offered ; 
for it is not a disgrace or a base thing to remit in- 
juries, as we imagine, but it is a princely thing ; 
Posse et nolle nocere, nobile : " to be able, but not 
to hurt it is noble." 

St. Ambrose told a great emperor of the world 
how Christians of his time did avenge themselves ; 
" Our weapons," saith he, " are our prayers and 
tears ; we weep for our persecutors, we pray for 
them, and after this manner do we fight against 
our enemies." 

Neither shall our forgiving go away empty, for 
this active mercy shewed unto men shall be re- 
warded with passive mercy by Him, who hath said, 
" Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain 
mercy." Hence it cometh to pass that our ene- 
mies may do us as much good as the best friends we 
have in the world, whereas in forgiving them, we 
receive forgiveness of God ; but for one drop of 
water given, we receive a gainful interest, a whole 
ocean sea ; for our two mites, the whole treasure 
of the Temple. We give small benefits, and for- 
give some trespasses, but with God there is no 
depth of His bounty, no number of His mercies. 
If at any time we are justly moved, as we often are, 
to awaken our thankfulness, or to use that quid 

Q ^ Q 


retribiiimus of the Prophet, " What shall we do 
unto the Lord for all the benefits he hath done unto 
us? We will take the cup of salvation, and call 
upon the name of the Lord."* Then, most espe- 
cially, approaching unto this Holy Mystery, (for 
of the chiefest benefit, the chiefest remembrance 
is required,) which the old Christians in the primi- 
tive Church, well remembering, gave evident testi- 
monies at this solemn occasion, by their devout 
prayers, and by their liberality to the poor, their 
visiting the sick, and other like works of mercy, 
which works of mercy, with Cornelius his alms, 
did go up to Heaven. t 

It is wonderful to consider, and it may do a 
good man's heart good, to call to mind the uniform 
peace and peccable union those first Christians 
retained among themselves, all assembled in one 
communion of Saints, to worship Him on earth 
with whom they hoped shortly to rejoice in Hea- 
ven. They forgot not that charge left by Christ 
at His departure from the world : " By this shall 
men know that you are My disciples, that you love 
one another." Nor that loving entreaty of Abra- 
ham had with Lot; " Let there be no strife between 
thee and me, between thy herdsmen and my herds- 
men, for we are brethren."| " Be of one mind," 
saith the Apostle, " live in peace, and the God of 
love and peace shall be with you." || And to the 

* Ps. cxvi. 12, 13. tActsx. 2. t Gen. xiii. 8. II 2. Corin. xiii. 11. 

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Ephesians he saith, " Let all bitterness, and anger, 
and wrath, be put away from you, with all malice ; 
be courteous one to another, forgiving one another, 

even as God for Christ's sake forgave you."* 

" There is but one Body, one Spirit, one Faith, 
one Baptism, one God which is above all, through 
all, and in us all."t 

Last of all, in this Mystery, as the faithful find 
tranquillity of conscience wrought within, so also 
do they find the spreading of charity towards men 
abroad : which charity " thinketh no evil, believeth 
all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." 

When as Christ our Saviour was now to cele- 
brate His last Supper, He Himself washeth His 
disciples' feet, wipeth them with a towel, giveth a 
precedent of humility and love, admitteth Judas, 
that bare an evil mind towards Him to His own 
dish, giveth Him a sop, speaketh mildly unto him, 
which all were tokens of love. Should we not 
take example by our Lord and Master ! When may 
we more fitly use that Hymn of the Angels, re- 
specting the common cause of joy we have, 
" Glory be to God on high, in earth peace, towards 
men good-will ;" and not good-will in show, but 
even in singleness of heart. Wherefore to con- 
clude with that of the Apostle St. Paul : " If there 
be any consolation in Christ, any comfort of love, 
any fellowship of the Spirit, be we of one accord. 

' Epliesians iv. 31, 32. t Ibid. iv. 5, 6. 

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Let the same mind be in us that was in Christ 
Who humbled Himself, wherefore God hath high- 
ly exalted Him, and given Him a name above all 
names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should 

* Philippians ii, 10. 

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THAT a Christian is to examine himself be- 
fore he presume to eat of this Bread and 
drink of this Cup, was before shewn to be the 
counsel of the Apostle St. Paul, or rather of Him 
from whom St. Paul spake. Now of the manner 
in particular of this examining. The first thing to 
be considered is, that a Christian think it not 
grievous to search the secrets and corners of his 
soul, which David, though a king, and called away 
with many aftairs, yet ceased not to do, as appear- 
eth in Psalm vi. 

Then let him go over the particulars of his whole 
life, as in what age, in what place, at what times, 
and in what company he hath lived ; let him call 
to mind how he hath observed God's command- 
ments, the works of mercy which he hath omitted, 
the seven capital sins, or any one of them, which 
he hath committed. 

In this manner, first, how he hath offended in 
pride, whether he hath desired vain-glory for the 
goods of nature, as beauty, strength, youth ; for the 

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goods of this world, as land, cattle, rich clothing, 
silver, gold ; for the goods of grace, knowledge, 
eloquence, wisdom or other virtues. If he have 
despised or mocked others who have wanted any 
of these ; if he hath feigned himself by hypocrisy 
more holy or virtuous than he hath been indeed ; 
if he hath shewed himself by boasting to have 
magnified himself, that he hath gifts singular be- 
fore others ; if he hath been proud of his kindred, 
or friends, or favour, or office, or dignity; if he 
hath disdained his kindred because of their pover- 
ty ; if he hath been disobedient to superiors ; if he 
hath trusted in his own wit ; if he hath loved sin- 
gularity in speech, singularity in fasting, singularity 
in prayer, neglecting that which is ordained by the 
church ; if he hath been curious in searching into 
high and intricate mysteries ; if he hath been proud 
in justifying himself, and preferring his own deeds 
before the deeds of others. 

Secondly, in wrath : let him call to mind whether 
he hath been moved or stirred up to anger against 
any man ; if he have wished him any hurt in body, 
goods, or good name ; if he have long time kept 
malice in his mind, often thinking how he might 
revenge ; if he have vexed or troubled any man by 
suit, rather upon spleen than equity ; if he have 
cursed or asked vengeance upon any, though it 
were his enemy ; if he hath been impatient in time 
of trouble, sickness, or any other adversity. 

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Thirdly, in envy : if he hath been glad of other 
men's hurt, and sorry for other men's profits, as 
their good fame, or prosperity whatsoever ; if he 
have in himself defamed any, either privily or open- 
ly, or given help or countenance thereunto ; if he 
have made debate or discord between party and 
party, or hath let to make peace and unity to the 
utmost of his power. 

Fourthly, in covetousness ; let him bethink him- 
self whether he hath taken other men's goods, by 
theft, or any other sinister or corrupt means, or had 
a will or purpose so to do : whether he hath with- 
holden other men's goods wrongfully from them ; 
whether he hath by fair promises fraudulently de- 
ceived any; whether he hath used any false wares, 
light weights, scant measures, or the like : whether 
he hath detained goods to his own use, which were 
intended to the use of others ; whether he hath for 
advantage sake used falsehood in word or deed ; 
whether he hath withdrawn his hand from charity, 
and refreshing poor people when he might have 
relieved them ; last of all, whether he had been 
desirous of heaping up worldly goods, rather than 
of laying up treasure in Heaven. 

Fifthly, in sloth : if he have been negligent or 
careless in God's service, especially upon the 
Sunday and Holy day, slothful to come to the 
Church, slothful to pray when he was there, sloth- 
ful to hear the Word of God, slothful to apply 



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his mind unto good thoughts and Godly Medita- 
tions ; if he have been careless to restrain his eyes 
from unlawful looks, or his feet from evil ways, 
or his mind from evil thoughts ; if he hath spent 
his time in idleness, or left undone things he ought 
to have done. 

Sixthly, in excess of eating and drinking : whe- 
ther he hath lightly regarded times of fasting; 
whether he hath eaten or drunken at any time unto 
surfeiting, or by excess hath fallen into dissolute 
mirth and reckless behaviour ; whether he hath 
had inordinate delight in eating and drinking, or 
desired meats and drinks more costly and delight- 
some than he ought. 

Seventhly, in luxury: whether he hath kept in 
his mind evil and unclean desires, with delecta- 
tion ; whether he hath not fled the occasions of 
this sin as much as possibly he could, and ever 
more been careful to keep his body as the Tem- 
ple of the Holy Ghost. 

When he hath remembered diligently in the se- 
cret council house of his conscience all defects, 
then let him prostrate himself in penitent prayer, 
and say, 

I accuse myself, that 1 have been negligent in 
putting away evil thoughts, for which I cry God 

I accuse myself that I have spoken vain words, 
idle and unprofitable ; for which I cry God mercy. 

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I accuse myself of my works, that I have not 
done them so purely for the love of God as I ought ; 
for vsrhich I cry God mercy. 

I accuse myself, that I have not kept my five 
senses, especially mine eyes, from all occasions 
of offending God, as I ought to have done ; for 
which I cry God mercy. 

I accuse myself of impatience in adversity, 
which I have not taken as from the hand of God, 
but have been often upon little occasions disquiet- 
ed and troubled ; for which 1 cry God mercy. 

I accuse myself that I have not performed the 
works of mercy, either spiritual, as comforting the 
afflicted, counselling the ignorant, calling them 
home that go astray, reproving them that wilfully 
offend : or corporeal, as visiting the sick, feeding 
the hungry, relieving the distressed ; for which I 
cry God mercy. 

I accuse myself, for that I have been so un- 
thankful to Almighty God for all His benefits be- 
stowed upon me ; for which I cry God mercy. 

I purpose steadfastly to amend my former im- 
perfections, and to continue Christ's faithful ser- 
vant unto my life's end. Amen. 

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AMONGST rules needful to be observed in 
preparing ourselves duly, as we ought, be- 
fore we come to the Table of the Lord, restitution 
is not the least. In restitution these circumstan- 
ces are to be observed : first, by whom restitution 
is to be made ; secondly, to whom ; thirdly, of 
what ; fourthly, of the time when ; and last of all 
the reason why. For the first, he by whom resti- 
tution is to be made, is the person oppressing 
another by any unjust or unlawful means, in his 
body, in his goods, in his good name. 

For the second, to whom restitution is to be 
made, is the person so and so oppressed, or the 
party injured. If access may not be had to the 
party injured, or if the party to whom restitution 
should be made be dead, or if his heirs be un- 
known, then let restitution be made by distribu- 
tion to the poor and needy. 

For the third, what is to be restored ? Surely 
that which of right belonged unto another. 

For the fourth, how much ought to be restored? 
If the quantity of the thing or loss be certain, then 



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let the same quantity be restored : if uncertain, as 
often it cometh to pass it is, then let so much be 
restored as a good conscience thinketh ought to be 

For the fifth, to wit, the place where restitution 
ought to be ; surely, in the place where the loss 
was sustained. 

For the sixth, restitution must have reference 
unto the time, that it be done forthwith, or at least- 
wise so soon as conveniently it may be ; for the 
negative precept bindeth to make speed ; thou 
shalt not hold that which is another's ; so that there 
ought to be a readiness of mind to perform this, 
though the execution thereof be deferred for a 

For the seventh, to wit, the reason why, is that 
axiom of St. Austin, non dimittitur j)eccatum, nisi 
restituatur ahlaUim ; " the sin is not pardoned, un- 
less the unjust gain be restored."' 

To conclude this point, together with the chap- 
ter, of making conscience, of making conscience, 
I say, (which Christians ought to do,) of making 
restitution before they come to the Table of the 
Lord, thereby unburdening their souls of a pon- 
derous burden. If a remembrance of a great reck- 
oning day to come, when the conscience shall be 
turned inside out, like Benjamin's sack : if a check 
of conscience for the time present, the crying sin 
of oppression, which will one day lie upon the 

o o 




soul as heavy as lead, will not move men to resti- 
tution, yet at leastwise let common experience do 
it ; have we not seen it, or at leastwise often heard 
it, that the third heir doth hardly rejoice in the en- 
joying of evil gotten goods ? Have not these 
goods been like the coal taken from the Altar, 
which, as it is in the emblem, set the whole 
eagle's nest on fire ? or as the gold Tolesse 
which they that possessed were seldom found to 
prosper. " A little," saith the Prophet David, 
" that the righteous hath, is better than great rich- 
es of the ungodly :"* Avhere we see that a little is 
preferred before great riches. A little ; but whose 
little ? the little of the righteous, or of them who 
neither get riches by unjust means, or keep them 
if they have so gotten them: great riches, but 
whose ? of the ungodly, those who, so themselves 
be rich, care not to make many poor. 

* Psalm xxxvii. 16. 

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EXAMINATION or probation of oneself, may 
be reduced to these four heads, whereof the 
first is faith ; the second is repentance ; the third, 
a heart occupied in no other affairs than Holy and 
Heavenly ; the fourth, a resolution to newness of 

Concerning faith, the Communicant ought prin- 
cipally to examine himself whether he steadfastly 
believe, that God, through Jesus Christ, is become 
propitious unto man, and that through Him he at- 
taineth full redemption of his sins. 

Concerning repentance, it is requisite that he 
examine himself whether he be sorry from the bot- 
tom of his heart for his sins, by true and unfeigned 
repentance ; for true repentance makes him feel 
the burden, and feeling the burden, to go unto him 
that will ease all those that are weary and heavy 

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laden. Repentance makes him to find the disease, 
and finding the disease, to run unto the Physician, 
and receive this spiritual physic of the soul. 

Concerning a heart occupied in Holy and Hea- 
venly affairs, the Communicant ought to examine 
himself whether his heart be occupied in good 
thoughts. Now, what better thoughts may possess 
the mind of a faithful Communicant, presenting 
himself at the Table of the Lord, than these, or 
the like ? O God, Thou art good ! soul, thou art 
happy ! 

Concerning a purpose or resolution of newness 
of life, the Communicant ought to examine himself 
whether he constantly purpose with himself that 
he will correct all his faults, and not commit them 
again for all the allurements that the world can af- 
ford. And although he hath a thousand times fall- 
en into the same, yet so often also to purpose with 
himself amendment : provided ever that not by his 
own strength he may hope to perform this, but to 
place all in the aid and assistance of God, from 
whom every good and perfect gift descendeth,* and 
to whom we are evermore to pray with him. We 
believe, Lord ; help our unbelief. 

* James i. 17. 

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GREAT defects there are in many, that coming 
unto the Holy Supper of the Lord, they come 
sometimes perplexed with various thoughts, some- 
times distracted with a multitude of earthly busi- 
ness. These defects ought to be removed; for 
what more convenient at this time than to have a 
quiet mind, sequestered from all troublesome infe- 
rior cogitations? When thou enterest into the 
Church, saith St. Bernard, leave without all secu- 
lar affairs ; attend unto Him who attendeth unto 
thee : much more coming unto the Table of the I 
Lord, leave all thy cares, and resign thyself wholly \ 
unto God. 

It is said of Socrates, that his scholars bringing 
him presents, Sophocles, a poor boy of the compa- I 
ny, comes unto him in this manner : " Sir, I have ! 
nothing to give you, only I give you myself." To [ 
whom Socrates answered, " Thou that givest thy- j 
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C ■ Q 


self to me shalt receive thyself bettered by me." 
And so he did, after instruction in virtue and learn- 
ing. If we have nothing to give, the very giving 
of ourselves to God is acceptable to Him, and pro- 
fitable tQ us the givers. 

. There are that write of Thomas Aquinas, that 
learned Divine, how he was spoken unto in this 
manner, as it seemed from God : Quid dabo iibi, 
Thonia ? " Thomas, what shall I give thee V His 
reply was said to be, Teipsum, Domiiie ; " Thyself, 

What is the cause that we are often weak and 
weary '? Surely for no other cause than for our dis- 
tractions in human affairs. O happy were we, had 
we but a glimpse of that Heavenly Jerusalem, 
which St. John saw descending from Heaven.* 
Truly this should we see with St. John, if we were 
with him in the Spirit ; but this cannot be, so long 
as we are in the flesh. 

" When our grain," saith St. Austin, "doth pu- 
trify in lower places, we remove it into higher, 
where it is likely to be more safe, this should we 
do with our cogitations." St. Chrysostom unto the 
people of Antioch saith, " You would bestow your 
time, and employ your substance, where most gain 
is to be got;" why then, set your affections on 
Heavenly things. We see that those who sit upon 
round things do sit unstably ; but those which set- 

* Revelation xxi. 10. 

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tie themselves upon a corner stone sit sure. Christ 
is the corner stone upon whom we may safely rest : 
the world is unstable and wavering. Our Saviour 
doth manifest this to His Disciples, " In me, you 
shall have peace, but in the world you shall have 
affliction."* Where there is a contrary effect be- 
tween these two, vos in me, and vos in mundo: you 
in Me, and you in the world ; in Me peace and 
quiet ; in the world trouble and affliction ; who 
would take care about puddle water, that may drink 
freely of the Water of Life ? They that desire 
nothing but Christ, shall in Christ find all things. 
Elkana said unto Anna, " Am not I better to thee 
than ten sons ?"t Is not quiet in Christ better 
than all the pleasures and profits of the world ? 
There is no taking aim at a flying fowl, nor set- 
tling our affections upon things which are transitory. 

• John xvi. 33. t Samuel i. 8. 





pious considerations before we come to the 
lord's supper. 

1. CONSIDER, Who, and how great a One, 
He is, Whom thou art about to receive. 

2. If John the Baptist, sanctified in his moth- 
er's womb, thought himself unworthy to unloose 
the latchet of Christ's shoes ; may not I say with 
humility and faith, how dare I receive Him ; nay, 
touch Him ?* 

3. If the Apostle St. Peter said to Christ, " Go 
from me, for I am a sinful man :" how may I pre- 
sume to join myself unto Him ? 

4. If Uzzah the priest' was punished for touch- 
ing the ark after an irreverent manner ; what may 
I not fear, if I come not with reverence ? 

* "Take then this lesson, O thou that art desirous of this Table, of 
Emissenus, a Godly Father, that when thou goest up to the reverend 
Communion, to be satisfied with spiritual meats, thou look up with 
faith upon the Holy Body and Blood of thy God, thou marvel with 
reverence, thou touch it with the mind, thou receive it with the hand 
of thy heart, and thou take it fully with thy inward man."— [Homily 
of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of 





5. Joseph, saith Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, ad 
Olympia, laid the Body of our Blessed Saviour in 
clean linen : this clean linen may resemble a clean 

6. God saith to Moses,* sanctify the people be- 
fore they come near the mount ; how much more 
ought we to be sanctified before that God cometh 
near us ? 

* Exodus xix. 10. 

6 6 

Q -. Q 



ALTHOUGH for no other respect, yet in re- 
gard of the solemn performance of religious 
offices in the face of the Church, that rule of the 
Apostle ought to direct us, " Let all things be done 
decently and in order." For if reverence be to be 
used in actions of common life much more in ac- 
tions tending to the service of God. What gesture 
doth better become us presenting ourselves at the 
Table of the Lord, under Whose Table we confess 
we are not worthy so much as to gather up the 
crumbs, than a gesture of reverence ? 

Our Lord and Saviour at the first institution of 
this Holy Sacrament, observed that which custom 
and long continuance made fit in celebrating the 
Passover. We, in celebrating the Lord's Supper, 
observe that which fitness and decency amongst 
the people of God, and long practice of the Church, 
hath made usual. 

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The service of God consisting both in the in- 
ward humbleness of the mind, and outward rev- 
erence of the body, doth manifest that duties ought 
to proceed from humility in both. As nature first 
maketh the heart, and after external parts in man ; 
so, first, God requireth obedience of the mind, as 
in the first commandment ; and next, reverence of 
the body, as we see in the second. Again, our 
bodies are the members of Christ, as the Apostle 
speaketh ; and members ought to be obedient to 
their head. 

To say that outward reverence is not expedient, 
is a branch of the heresy of the Manichees. To 
come unto the Holy Table of the Lord in any other 
behaviour than beseemeth humble suppliants, 
meekly kneeling upon our knees, being now to re- 
ceive grace from the Giver of grace, were great 
indignity offered. To come into such a Presence, 
and to demean ourselves as if we were assembled 
to sit in commission with God, is sure far from 
Christian piety. If one come in that believeth 
not, seeing no reverence, what will he say? If 
he see reverence, then he saith, God is in them of 
a truth.* 

David went uncovered before the ark ; Michal 
mocked him. David's answer is. It is before the 
Lord, who hath exalted me.f Solomon in all his 
glory was upon his knees.J The four and twenty 

• 1 Cor. xiv. 24. t 2 Sam. vi. 21. 1 1 Kings viii. 54. 

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elders, which signified the Church triumphant, fall 
down before Him that was, and is, and is to come.* 

We owe to God a twofold dei'^otion, internal and 
external ; the one to be done, the other not to be 
left undone. The words of our Saviour to the wo- 
man to Samaria, " God is a Spirit ; and the true 
worshippers are they that worship Him in spirit 
and in truth;'' they do not take away external wor- 
ship, as St. Ambrose and St. Cyril expound that 
place ; but in spirit, that is, without the shadows 
of the Jews ; in truth, without the error of the 
Gentiles. So, in spirit principally, but not in spirit 
only ; for He that created both body and soul will 
have duties of both. It will be replied, that Pa- 
gans have kneeled to their idols ; so it may be, 
that Pagans have worshipped the sun ; shall we, 
therefore, cast away the use of the sun ? 

Sure, kneeling is a gesture well beseeming so 
Holy a Service. St. Paul blamed the Corinthi- 
ans for their irreverent assembling at the Lord's 
Table, and tells them there was a difference be- 
tween God's House and their own, between sacred 
and the common assemblies.! 

Let them, therefore, take heed by the example 
of those Corinthians, amongst whom many were 
afflicted and punished unto death, as the Apostle 
in that place testifieth, for their want of reverence 
at the Table of the Lord. They that make no 

• Rev. IV. 10. t 1 Corinthians xi. 22. 





more of this Holy Service than of some familiar 
and ordinary repast, let them call to mind Who 
hath said it, " Every knee shall bow before me."* 

It is often repeated, and to our greater shame 
neglected, " come, let us worship, and fall down 
and kneel before the Lord."t We must learn of 
St. Paul to bow our knees unto the Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ ; J and not to be as the people of 
whom the Prophet complaineth,|| whose neck was 
an iron sinew. We call it a service, and beseech 
God to accept it as a reasonable service ; now ser- 
vants before their masters will shew respect and 
reverence. W"e may consider the place where we 
are, which is the House of God ; and Holiness be- 
cometh His house, saith the Prophet David. Jere- 
miah biddeth us lift up our hands and hearts to 
God in the Heavens."^ At the table of a mortal 
man we will use to take the lowest form ; much 
more ought we to humble ourselves at this so high 
and so Heavenly a Presence. 

St. Paul doth require the lifting up of pure hands 
in prayer ; and St. James saith, " God resisteth the 
proud, and giveth grace to the humble :" then may 
the devout communicant use that of St. Bernard, 
Domine, qui das gratiam Immilihus, da gratiam ut 
si7n humilis : " Lord Thou that giveth grace to the 
humble, give me grace to be humble." 

* Isaiah xiv. 23. + Psalm xcv. 6. t Ephesians iii. 14. 
II Isaiah xlviii. 4. <) Lamentations iii. 41. 







Used by Thomas Aquinas, 

/^ GOD, the Creator of all things, Father Om- 
^^ nipotent, Whose beginning receiveth no be- 
ginning, Whose everlastingness is without end. 
Whom all things confess their Maker ; I, misera- 
ble and unworthy" sinner, being now to approach 
to the honourable feast of the Body and Blood of 
Thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, carrying a 
troubled heart, a defiled body, a polluted tongue, 
and a wounded conscience, am much perplexed, 
and what to choose I know not ; for if I come not, 
I fly from life ; and if I come unworthily, I pur- 
chase damnation. O high Divinity, O dreadful 
Majesty, loving mercy, whither shall I go ? or 
whither shall I fly 1 or what (miserable creature 
that I am) shall I do ? I have sinned against Heav- 
en and before Thee, and am not worthy to ask 
Thee any thing as a son, but sorrowfully sighing, 
and striking my breast, and travailing, I speak : 






Woe is me, wretched sinner; I have lost that 
which pertained to me of a son, but Thou hast 
kept the goodness of a 4nost loving Father : par- 
don, therefore, O Father, O most gentle Father, 
pardon, pardon Thy prodigal son, returning, though 
at last ; and stretching forth Thy hand of mercy 
from high, receive me, wretched sinner, in peace 
and favour ; Who livest and reignest, God for ever 
and ever. Amen. 



o ■ — o 



OLORD Jesus Christ, who art the only Son 
of God, the most High King of kings. Lord 
of lords, the image of the Father, the brightness of 
eternal light, Whom the Angels do only desire to 
behold, Who after all Thy sufi'ering, praying for 
Thine enemies, now sittest at the throne of glory ; 
who am I, that doth presume not only to behold 
Thee my God, but' also to take and receive Thy 
Body into the lodging of my body, and house of 
my soul, contaminated sinner? O miserable that I 
am, and most unhappy of all men, who do this so 
exceeding great injury to Thee, my God and Sa- 
viour. For when a thousand years of tears are 
not sufRcient to receive, at the least but once wor- 
thily, this reverent and most precious Sacrament, 
so high and Divine a Mystery : " I, wretched and 
unworthy creature, daily offending, and adding sin 
unto sin, imprepared, and of a heart less contrite 
and purged, do notwithstanding take upon me often 
to receive it. But because Thy mercy is greater 
O ; 

o — o 


by infinite than my misery, neither hath it been 
heard from the beginning of the world that Thou 
hast ever despised the prayers of the humble, who 
savest them that trust in Thee, and Who hast shed 
Thy precious blood for our salvation, and the sal- 
vation of the world ; and for an everlasting pledge 
of Thy love towards us hast ordained this Sacra- 
ment. Trusting in this Thy imspeakable love, I 
most humbly prepare me to Thy Table, and of 
putting out from the house of my soul the sour 
leaven of hatred and evil will towards all, that I 
may keep this Holy Passover, with the sweet 
bread of sincerity and love. 

Grant me Thy grace, that this Holy Mystery 
may turn and become effectual to the life and sal- 
vation both of body and soul, that I may firmly 
abide in Thee, who intend this day to receive 
Thee unto me. 

Let my mind be confirmed amongst so great 
Mysteries with Thy comfortable Presence, that it 
may understand thou art present with her, and re- 
joice perfectly before Thee, the Fire which always 
burneth, the Brightness which always shineth : 
sweet Jesu, good Jesu, the Bread of life which re- 
fresheth us ever, and yet never decayest, which 
art always eaten, and remainest always whole, 
inflame and sanctify Thy vessel, purge it from ma- 
lice, fill it with Thy grace, and being filled, pre- 


o o 


serve it evermore in Thy Holy Love, Who livest 
and reignest one God, world without end. Amen. 


Holy Spirit, make my spirit conformable unto 
Thee; sanctify me, Thou sanctifier of the hearts 
and reins, that I may be prepared to receive him 
holily, who is the Holy of Holies, to Thy glory ; 
to whom, with the Father and the Son, be all glory 
world without end. Amen. 


Q Q 



IMx\GINE, thou hadst been at Jerusalem when 
this Noble Sacrament was instituted by Christ ; 
that thou hadst been invited by some of the Apos- 
tles to be present ; consider with what joy thy 
soul had received this message, and how hastily 
all business laid aside, thou wouldest have run 

2. Imagine, that as soon as thou hadst come to 
the Supper, the Lord had washed thy feet, and 
said with tears falling on them, I do this to wash 
away many sins committed against thy Creator, 
by walking through ungodly ways, I wash thee 
for the labour which thou shalt suffer for Me in a 
spiritual life. 

3. Imagine, that Christ said unto thee. Come 
unto the Table of Angels, eat My bread, drink 
wine, which I have mixed for thee ; or, " Eat, O 
friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved !"* 

4. Lastly, imagine, how He bade thee sit down 
at the Table, casting his most longing eyes upon 

♦ Cant. V. 1. 

O O 

c o 


thee, saying, Desiderio desideravi ; with a desire 
have I desired to eat this passover with you. 
Christ our Saviour desired to shew what thou also 
oughtestto desire ; as if he should say, I have pre- 
vented thee with great benefits, and will hereafter 
enrich thee with greater, only continue in the love 
of Me. Consider what modesty thou wouldest 
have used at that Holy Table, with what attention 
thou wouldest have received the words of Jesus. 
" The remembrance of Josiah," saith the Wise 
Man, "is like a perfume;"* much more pleasant 
is the remembrance of our Lord Jesus, His last in- 
stitution unto us. 


The fruit is, to give the Lord hearty thanks for 
this inestimable benefit, now to be received ; to 
beseech Him that He would not sufl^er thee to die 
ungrateful ; to call to mind that Christ kept the 
best wine until the last, left this Holy Repast as a 
sweet remembrance of His love at parting ; that 
this love of His was a motion natural, which mo- 
tion (say the philosophers) is most forcible towards 
the end. 


my soul, how lovingly doth the Lord knock 

• EccL xlix. 1. 

o _ o 

O ■ Q 


at thy door with a desire of entering in, and rest- 
ing with thee : arise, O my soul, and Christ shall 
give thee light ; not only the shepherds of Beth- 
lehem had cause of joy, who found as it was told 
them, but thou hast cause of joy too, who shalt find 
the joy of Israel. No marvel though Martha and 
Mary went forth to meet the Lord, knowing how 
he would fill their minds with celestial consolation. 
Go forth, O my soul, to meet Him that cometh un- 
to thee, who is the stay, yea, the whole stay of all 
thy being. The water that is separated from the 
fountain, vanisheth ; the bough that is cut from the 
tree, withereth ; the body from which the soul is 
gone, dyeth ; depart not, therefore, O my soul, 
from the soul of thy soul, but embrace him with 
all gladness. Lord, as there is no doubt but that 
such was the excess of Thy love and favour, 
whereat even the Angels were amazed, so is it sure 
that I was most bound, not only to run the way of 
all Thy commandments, but also to spend my life 
for the love of Thee. Thou hast bestowed on me 
this so excellent a gift, more noble than human un- 
derstanding is able to conceive, from whence 
springeth an obligation which doth bind me unto 
Thee. Who doth not see that I shall be most un- 
thankful, if I acknowledge not Thy singular love ? 
O my heart, open thyself, and shew with what 
bond of reloving, Jesus loving thee, thou art bound. 

C O 





1. Ecce sponsus venit ; " Behold, the Bride- 
groom cometh, go forth to meet Him."* 

2. Ecce ancilla Domini ; " Behold the hand- 
maid of the Lord ; be it unto me according to Thy 

3. Die verbum, et vivet anima ; " I am not wor- 
thy, &c. do but say the word, and my soul shall 

4. " Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye 
lift up ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory 
shall come in."|| 

5. " Taste and sec how gracious the Lord is, 
blessed is the man that puttelh his trust in Him :"§ 
saying, Hoc facite in mcam commemorationem ; 
" Do this in remembrance of me."^ 

good Jesu join me inwardly unto Thee, to the 
glory of Thy name, and the salvation of my soul. 

Matt. XXV. 6. 
Psalm xxiv. 7. 

t Luke i. 38. 
() Psalm xxxiv. 

t Matt. viii. 8. 
•If 1 Cor. xi. 24. 





Also, in the time of communicating, say, Turn 
unto thy rest, O my soul. Again, Lord, say unto 
my soul, I am Thy salvation. And again, O knit 
my heart unto Thee, and I will fear Thy name. 
And last of all say, O most loving and sweet Jesus, 
the love and sweetness of my heart, the life of my 
soul, my mellifluous food, have mercy upon me, be 
with me, Lord, now and for ever. Amen. 

Or thus, 

Good Jesu, the sweetness of my heart, the life 
of my soul, my eternal God, bountiful Jesus, join 
me nearly unto Thee, to the praise and glory of 
Thy name, and to the salvation of my soul. Amen. 

Immediately after your receiving, say the lOSd 

1. " Praise the Lord, my soul, and all that is 
within me praise His Holy name. 

2. " Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not 
all His benefits. 

3. " Who forgiveth all thy sins, and healeth all 
thy infirmities. 

4. " Who saveth thy life from destruction and 
crowneth thee with mercy and loving kindness. 

5. " Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, 
making thee young and lusty as an eagle." 

o — — o 


Or that hymn of Simeon^ 

" Lord, now lettest thou Thy servant depart in 
peace, for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation."* 

So soon as you have communicated, say also, 

Thy Blood, Lord Jesus Christ, which was 
shed for us, let it be to the remission of all our 
sins, of all our negligences and ignorances ; let it be 
to the strengthening, increase, and conservation of 
faith, hope, and charity, of graces, of virtues, of 
carefulness, of pleasing Thee, O Lord, in this life, 
and of attaining glory in the life to come. 

* Luke ii. 29. 

o 6 

o o 



WITH what chastity of body and purity of 
mind ought I to receive that Mystery, 
where Thou, O Lord, art the Feeder and the Food- 
the Giver and the Gift ? Ambrosius in oratione ante 
Sacr. Ccen. 

St. Jerome, a little before his departure, being 
about to receive, humbly kneeling, did communi- 
cate with many tears. Etisebius in vita S. Hie- 

It is writen of Constantine, no less godly than 
mighty an emperor, that with great reverence and 
devotion, before any attempt against his enemies, 
his wont was to receive the Holy Eucharist. Eu- 
sebius in vita Constantini. 

By the force of this Sacrament the force of the 
devil is abated. Ignatius ad Ephes. 

St. Cyprian calleth this Blessed Sacrament, a 
joyful Solemnity. Cypr. do Cam. Dom. 
C — — O 





Of the old Christians, their solemn assembly to 
receive the Eucharist was called ««A«;r»?, an Assem- 
bly or Feast of love. 








I GIVE Thee Thanks, O most loving Jesus, who 
hast vouchsafed to admit me a sinful creature, 
to the magnificent and quickening Feast of Thy 
Sacred Table. 

Thou vv'ouldest that I should be as the Ark of 
the Covenant, where Thou Thyself vouchsafest to 
abide. Thou wouldest that in this Ark, manna 
should be kept, wherewith Thou didst feed Thy 
people, until they entered into the land of promise. 
Cause, I beseech Thee, that this manna now re- 
ceived, whereof that was but a figure, may be pre- 
served in my soul, that I may feel the efl'ectual 
fruit of Thy Passion, for the remission of my sins, 
the merit of righteousness, purchased by Thy Pas- 
sion, and the reward of everlasting glory. 

Cause also that like as in the Ark the Tables of 
the Law were kept, so a desire of fulfilling Thy 
will may be contained in my soul. Grant that I 
may honour, love, and obey Thee, that I be sepa- 


Q O 


rated from this love by no allurements whatsoever 
of my ghostly enemy. Tarry with me, O Blessed 
Jesus, until the evening of my age, and when the 
night of death approacheth, I will not let Thee go 
till Thou hast blessed me, and yielded to this pe- 
tition of my sobbing soul. Lord, fulfil her de- 
sire, never depart from her. 

What blessings shall I give unto Thee, my 
dear Saviour ? Where shall I begin to express my 
love and duty towards Thee, Who hast said, " Be- 
hold I am with you even unto the end ?" My soul 
desireth to be satisfied in the beholding of Thy 
countenance, even as the heart longeth for the 
fountains of water. Turn thee, my soul, unto 
thy rest, for the Lord hath done well for thee ; He 
hath shewed thee marvellous great kindness in the 
land of the living. For this cause also is my heart 
glad, and my glory rejoiceth, and my flesh shall 
rest in hope : bless thou the Lord, O my soul. 

O .Q 



OMNIPOTENT and most Loving Father, I 
cannot give Thee thanks worthily or enough, 
according to the desire of my mind, for the treas- 
ure of this Heavenly food, which Thou hast now 
given me in this Heavenly Mystery, the true Bread 
of Heaven, that CA'erlasting meat that abideth for 
ever. Thy blessed Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ, in Whom I have obtained, by the gift of 
this Holy Communion, an assured pledge of an in- 
heritance to come. Grant, O Lord, that I may 
daily profit in virtue and godliness, that this sacred 
union with Christ my Redeemer may be of such 
force in me, that rejecting all evil ways, I may go 
forward in piety towards God, chastity towards 
myself, and charity towards my neighbour, to Thy 
good pleasure, through the same our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. 


Awake, my soul, and behold the new favour 



o o 


wherewith thy loving Jesus doth prosecute thee. 
Thou hast good cause to rejoice that the Lord of 
Majesty vouchsafes to come unto thee to comfort 
thee. Vouchsafe only a good-will for all His 
bounty towards thee. Be not as the nine un- 
thankful lepers who forgat their curing. Cast all 
thy care upon Him who careth for thee ; cease not 
to magnify Him, my soul, for He that is mighty 
hath magnified thee, and done great things for 

Thou knowest how the Son of God hath loved 
thee, when, departing out of the world unto the 
Father, He left thee so comfortable a remembrance 
and seal of all His mercies. O love without mea- 
sure ! Return, my soul, give glory unto God, 
for the Lord hath blessed thee. Return unto thy 
gracious Saviour, of Whom thou mayest say. Here 
will I rest, here will I dwell for ever. 

Can it be, O Lord, that Thou wouldest follow 
man with such love, as to unite Thyself unto him ? 
Rejoice, O ye sons of Adam, for no longer shall 
that saying of the Prophet be applied to you, " My 
tears have been my meat day and night, whilst 
they yet daily said, Where is now thy God?" — 
Tears are now no longer your meat, but the glad- 
some food of Angels. Your God is with you even 
unto the end. The poor do eat and are satisfied. 
Lord, grant me the grace of devotion and thank- 
fulness, that I may ask instantly, expect patiently, 

o ^ : o 



receive it gratefully, preserve it humbly, and use 
it diligently, to the glory and honour of Thy Holy 
and Blessed name. Amen. 

I desire to offer myself, my soul and body, a 
sacrifice unto Thee ; nay, I offer up all my sins, 
both original and actual, upon the acceptable altar 
of Thy mercy ; consume them with the sacred fire 
of Thy love, and let this oftering, as Abel's offer- 
ing, be well pleasing in Thy sight. But to return 
unto this Heavenly food now received : Ah, hard 
and perverse heart of mine, how canst thou con- 
tinue earthly, when thou art fed with the bread of 
Heaven ? When at length wilt thou become Heav- 
enly ? How is it that thou dost remain sensual, 
and alienated from the Spirit, who art spiritually 
preserved ? Is it because thou dost consist of earth? 
Jesu, remember here what thou hast elsewhere 
said, I come to send a fire, and what is my desire, 
but that it may be kindled 1* Let it be kindled in 
me, that I may be carried upwards, and seek the 
things which are above, where Thou sittest at the 
right hand of God : that though my body converse 
here on earth, my affections may be in Heaven, 
that from henceforth not so much I do live, as Thy 
grace may be said to live in me. 

' Luke xii. 49. 

o ■ o 




CONSIDER, with what labours and tears 
Adam, after He was cast out of Paradise, 
did eat the bread of carefulness all the days of his 
life. But now man, received into the state of 
grace, is come to feed on the Bread of Life itself. 

2. Consider, that Solomon* would not let his 
wife, the daughter of Pharaoh, an idolater dwell in 
his house, because the ark of God had been there. 
So we ought not to let sin reign in us after the re- 
ceiving of the Holy Eucharist, because the Ark of 
His Covenant also hath been received of us. 

2. Consider, that as the Israelites when they had 
eaten the Paschal Lamb, and were delivered from 
Pharaoh's bondage, made no stay in Egypt, but set 
forward forthwith towards the land of promise ; so 
after this our Passover, wherein a mighty deliver- 
ance from the hands of our spiritual Pharaoh is ob- 
tained, we are to depart from the works of dark- 

* 1 Kings vii. 8. 

O ^^ o 

c O 


ness to go forward without delay, from grace to 
grace, from virtue to virtue, until we com& to our 
Heavenly Canaan. 

4. Consider, how the wise men, when they had 
seen Christ at Bethlehem, and there done their 
homage,* they returned not by ambitious and cruel 
Herod, nor by the troublesome Jerusalem, but per 
aliam viam, another way. So we, having visited 
Christ at our Bethlehem, which signifieth the 
house of bread, and there offered our souls and bo- 
dies a sacrifice unto Him, should return towards 
our own country, which is above, not by the ambi- 
tious and troublesome desires of the world, but 
pass along peaceably a better way, that we may 
at last come unto our Heavenly, that is, our proper 
country, there to abide for ever. 

5. Consider, how just Noah was a hundred years 
together labouring to frame and build an ark to 
save him from the flood : and should not we en- 
deavour for the time to come, to spend it wholly in 
framing a good conscience before God and man, 
which shall one day save us from a flood of mise- 
ries ? 

6. Consider, that a publicanf who before did 
exact by extremity from others, but having receiv- 
ed Christ into his house, became beneficial unto 
others, and readily made restitution for all the 
wrong he had offered beforetime. 

♦ Matthew ii. 12. t Luke xix. 8. 

o ■■ 6 

o o 


7. Consider the admonition and absolution that 
Christ gave unto him that was cured by the pool's 
side, " Behold thou art made whole, sin no more."* 

8. Consider how Saul, after he was preserved 
by God, became another man. 

9. Consider, how God doth complain by His 
prophets, against the ingratitude of his people, and 
how he accepteth those who are thankful unto 
Him ; " I have nourished children, and they have 
rebelled against me."t Christ said unto the Sa- 
maritan, " Arise, go thy way, thy faith hath made 
thee whole."+ 

10. Consider, that to make an apostacy from the 
calling to grace, were great indignity offered unto 
God, and hurt to ourselves. 

11. Consider, how from henceforth we ought to 
keep a watch over all our senses, without which 
the soul is a city without walls exposed to the in- 
vasion of enemies, or as a vessel without a cover, 
which in the old law was impure. 

12. Remember how the children of Israel, to 
avoid the punishment of the firstborn of the Egyp- 
tians, sprinkled their door-posts with the blood of 
the Lamb : in like manner, to avoid the death of 
sin, let us sprinkle the posts of our hearts with the 
continual remembrance of Christ's Passion. I bear 
in my body the dying of Jesus, saith St. Paul. 

13. Remember that " I have put off my coat, 

♦ John V. 14. t Isaiah i. 2. t Luke xvii. 19. 

O . -; 

I Q 


how shall I put it on ? I have washed my feet, 
how shall I defile them ?"* 


Is, first to acknowledge with all thankfulness, 
God's goodness towards us ; secondly, to apply 
ourselves wholly for the time to come to serve 
Him in Holiness and Righteousness, that we may 
daily endeavour to appear before the God of gods 
in Zion.f 


Remember, O my soul, that thou hast been fed 
with the food of Angels, and therefore shouldest 
not now turn to feed on the husks of swine, that is 
sensual afl'ections. Thou knowest that wise king 
Solomon,! would not that his own wife, who was 
Pharaoh's daughter, should dwell in the house 
where the Ark of God was ; for he counted it 
wickedness, that a woman descending from the 
Gentiles, enemies unto God and his people, should 
inhabit so Holy a place. How great wickedness, 
then, should it be to receive sin, where God Him- 
self, the Lord of the Ark, is conversant. In the 
Ark were contained the Tables of the Law; in 
my heart let there be ever a desire of fulfilling Thy 
will. When the God of all Power and Majesty 
hath made thee his handmaid, is it not a sign of 

* Cant. V. 3. + Psalm Ixxxiv. 7. | 1 Kings vii. 8. 

o o 

o o 


singular love and favour ? Oughtest thou not to 
render him again all service and duty 1 The Pa- 
triarch Jacob was content to serve seven years, 
and after that seven more, and all for Rachel ; 
which time, notwithstanding, seemed short unto 
Jacob himself, for the love he bare to Rachel. 
Much shorter should the time seem to thee, where- 
in thou servest this Lord : all labours may be ac- 
counted light for His love, who is more to be be- 
loved than any earthly creature, by infinite de- 
grees. Thou shouldest be happy, my soul, if 
thou knewest what dignity it is to serve so high a 
Lord. Call to mind how thou hast served in times 
past this vain world, whereby thou hast been sub- 
ject to many perturbations. How maay bitter 
crosses hast thou sustained in this service ? Now 
by the help of thy Heavenly Lord, Whom thou 
hast this day received, thou art able to tread under 
foot all the allurements of thy ghostly enemies, 
and becomte mistress of thine own passions. Re- 
member that Holiness becometh the house of God, 
whose house thou now art. Consider, that to serve 
God is to bear rule. Think thou art no longer 
thine own, but God's, to whom thou hast conse- 
crated thyself. His will, not thine, ought ever to 
be fulfilled, that in all things thou yield humble 
obedience, and reply with the Apostle, Quid vis 
me facer e ? " Lord, what wilt Thou that I do ?"* 

* Acts ix. 0. 

o— ^ ^o 

o o 




THAT he be no less careful now, after this 
Heavenly repast, in the exercises of devo- 
tion, than he was before in preparing himself. 

2. That he use much silence, and some solitari- 
ness, the same day, that he may be private there- 
unto, Deo et sibi, " to God and himself." 

3. That he retire himself from worldly affairs. 

4. That he often determine of his future con- 
versation to be religious and fearing God. 

5. That he resolve with the prophet, Dixi ctis- 
todiam vias meas ; " 1 said I will take heed unto 
ray ways."* 

6. That he resign himself wholly to God's plea- 

7. That he use all the means which be helpful 
in this resigning himself wholly unto God's plea- 
sure ; of these means some are general, and some 
are particular. 

* Psalm xxxix. 1. 

C : O 


Q O 


1. Amongst the general, the first is a steadfast 
purpose not to offend God in this or that sin from 
henceforth, whereunto he hath been formerly sub- 

2. It doth much help to fly occasions which are 
wont to draw men to sin, as the place of ill com- 
pany ; for it is written, " Death entereth in by 
the windows."* 

3. It doth much help to resist temptations in 
the beginning, to extinguish the first spark of evil 
desire, before it inflame the heart ; which is done 
if we fly to prayer and meditation of Christ's pas- 

4. It also much helpeth to keep the purpose 'of 
not offending God, to hear the word of God, to 
read good books ; by this means the heart of man 
is recollected. 

5. It availeth not a little to be ever conversant 
in the sight of God ; to have this inscription in 
the house or place of our most frequent abode. 
Noli peccare, quia Deus videt ; sin not because 
God sees thee. 

6. A good mean of Holy life, is to fly idleness, 
the nourishment of vice. 

7. O, consider that having now cast out Jonah, 
that is, some sin of disobedience to God, we should 
be careful for the time to come. Why did the 
holy man Job make a covenant with his eyes, but 

* Jeremiah ix. 21. 

o 6 

o o 


that he knew that sight did cause cogitation, cogi- 
tation delight, delight consent, and consent will 
bring forth sin? 

8. Last of all, an effectual mean against all vice, 
is the often receiving the Holy Sacrament, which 
is wont for to strengthen the soul against tempta- 

6— — -^ 




FIRST. Let the faithful Christian call to 
mind, that as often as he receiveth the Holy 
Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, so often he clean- 
seth himself in the Blood of Christ, which is there- 
unto very powerful. Now having been cleansed 
and washed, let him say with the wise man, Lavi 
pedes meos, quomodo inquinabo eos ? I have wash- 
ed my feet, how shall I defile them 1* 

Let him call to mind that it is to small purpose 
with the sick man to go to the physician, and by 
and by either to run into a relapse, or not to ob- 
serve remedies given him for his health. 

Now of the remedies or spiritual antidotes 
against sin, some are general and some are par- 
ticular. Amongst the general, the first is, to be as 
it were always conversant in the sight of God, 
who is the witness of all our actions. I mean, to 
be ever conversant in the sight of God, is to call 

[ * Canticles v. 3. 

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to mind that of the wise man, In omni loco oculi 
Domini contemplantur honos et malos ; in every 
place the eyes of the Lord do behold the good and 
the evil. That of the prophet David, Providebam 
Dominum in conspectu meo semper ; I always had 
the Lord in my sight. That of Tobias to his son, 
Omnibus diebus vitcB iucB in mente habeto Deum ; 
have God in thy mind all the days of thy life. — 
Let this also be written in thy mind, virtue shall 
see God. 

In the old law Almighty God commanded the 
Israelites to wear fringes upon the borders of their 
garments,* that when they did look upon them, 
they should remember God's commandments, and 
do them. Surely, in like manner, it shall be much 
pleasing to God, if with any sign we are stirred 
up to remember the presence of God. 

The second is, to meditate at all hours, of the 
hour of our departure out of this life, according to 
that of the wise man, Memoraro novissima tua, et 
in eiernum non peccabis ; remember thy latter end, 
and thou shalt never do amiss. 

The third is, to beseech Christ not to go from 
us, as the disciples did, " because the night of 
death draweth nigh."t 

The fourth is, humble, devout, and continual 
prayer, according to that of our Saviour, Orate, 
ne intretis in tentationem ; pray, that ye enter not 

• Numbers xv. 38. f Luke xxiv. 29. 


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into temptation ; and sure, none falleth into temp- 
tation but first falleth from prayer. Wherefore, 
that of St. Paul, to the Thessalonians, is always to 
be remembered and practised. Orate semper ; pray 

The fifth is, to fly all allurements to evil, wanton 
talk, wandering cogitations. 

The sixth is, often to hear the word of God, 
which doth collect the heart of man, allay passions, 
and replenish the will with good desires ; the 
reading of religious books, and often meditating of 
the benefits of God. Joseph saith, how can I sin 
against my Master, seeing He hath put all that he 
hath into my hands ?! 

The seventh is, in the beginning diligently to 
resist temptation, to nip vice in the bud, to kill the 
serpent in the egg, and to dash the little ones or 
small sins against the stones. If a man's enemy 
stood at the door pressing to enter in, and hurt 
him, whd would not keep him out; who so careless 
of his safety as to receive in such a one ? 

The eighth is, often to call to mind the happi- 
ness of good men, the calamity of the evil, and 
the vanity of the world : qui bene vhuf, saith Ori- 
gen, est verus homo, immo est quasi angelus ; He 
that lives well is a true man ; yea, rather an An- 

The ninth and last is, a daily and devout medi- 

• 1 Thess. V. 17. f Genesis xxxix. 8. t Horn. xiv. in Levit. 

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tation of the Passion of Christ our Lord, calling to 
mind that of the Apostle St. Paul, that obstinate 
sinners crucify again the Son of God.* 

From the remedies of sin in general, let us come, 
in the next place, to the remedies of several vices 
or sins in particular. 

* Hebrews xi. 6. 




r¥l O repress pride and vain glory, it shall help 
-*- a man. 

1. That he daily meditate how vile he himself 
is in body and mind. 

2. That he is raised from low estate by the fa- 
vour of God. 

3. That what good soever he hath, he hath it 
from God. 

4. That pride makes a man contemptible to men 
and hateful to God % 

5. That God resisteth the proud, as appeareth 
by Lucifer, Rehoboam, Nebuchadnezzar, Anti- 
ochus, Sennacherib and others. And ruina prcBce- 
(lenthim, it is admonilio sebsequentium ; the fall of 
them that go before, it should be the admonition of 
thera that follow after. 

6. That it depriveth them of spiritual goods, 
especially of grace, whereof being deprived, they 
fall into an ocean sea of evils. 

7. That Christ our Saviour hath said, Dlsc'de ex 
me, quia hum His sum ; Learn of me, for I am hum- 






LET every one consider, that the mind of man 
is no more satisfied with much than it is with 
little ; and, therefore, the desire of having brings 
the mind to a perpetual agitation. 

1. That covetousness is the root of all evil ;* from 
hence come wars, hatred, enmity, seditions, and 
innumerable evils, which turn away the mind from 
spiritual things, and from God. 

3. That he consider the shortness of his life, 
and that no man's life consisteth in the abundance 
of his riches, as our Saviour admonisheth.f 

4. That he trust in God, who feedeth the spar- 
rows and young ravens. 

5. That he is a steward, and not a lord, of tem- 
poral riches. 

6. That he set before his eyes the example of 
Christ, and all Holy men, who despised earthly 
riches to be rich in God. 

i- 10, t Luke xii. 15. 






7. That he remember it was spoken by our 
Saviour, " It is a blessed thing to give rather than 
to receive.* 

8. That the best riches are treasures in Hea- 
ven. f 

' Acts XX. 35. t Matt. vi. 20. 






THAT from hence come diseases of body, and 
griefs of mind. 

2. That idleness is the cause of this evil. 

3. To depart from the company of those that 
are Avont to excite unto this evil. 

4. To be careful that w^e give not our enemy 
strength, but, by abstinence, rather (as the abstain- 
ing from strong wines and hot meats) to repress 

5. To repel evil thoughts. 

6. To use much fasting and prayer ; for this 
kind of spirit is cast out by fasting and prayer. 

7. To meditate how vain this sinful pleasure is, 
how vile, and what is the foulness of this sin. 

8. How it hath been punished by the overthrow 
of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

9. That chastity is rewardable with God and 
man ; with God, in that it is said, " Blessed are 
the pure in heart, for they shall see God ;"* with 
man, " Whoso loveth pureness of heart, the king 
shall be his friend." t 

* Matt. V 8. t Prov. xxii. 11. 







rilO call to mind that of the wise man, "A 
-■- soft answer appeaseth wrath."* 

2. To consider how unbefitting a thing for man 
wrath is, which makes him fierce as a beast, and 
furious as a mad man. 

3. Let him consider the effects of wrath, which 
are for the most part, contumelies, outcries, indig- 
nation, blasphemies, and swelling of the mind. 

4. Let him consider the punishment of this vice, 
qui irascitur fratri, " Whosoever is angry with 
his brother unadvisedly, shall be culpable of judg- 

5. Let him call to mind how many injuries 
Christ suffered for us, from whom all His adver- 
saries could not wrest one angry word ; " And 
Christ suffered for us," saith St. Peter, " leaving 
us an example ; who, when He was reviled, re- 
viled not again."! 

Prov. XV. 1. 

t Matt. V. 22 

1 1 Peter ii. 23. 



C— Q 



CONSIDER how unprofitable envy is, which 
only vexeth him that is envious. 

2. That God is the revenger of wrongs, and 
that vengeance is His. 

3. That we are commanded to overcome evil 
with good ; that if our enemy thirst, we give him 
drink ; for in so doing we heap coals of fire upon 
his head, that is, give him incitements of charity 
and provokements of loving again. 

4. That envy is against the law of nature ; for 
one member will be helpful to another, as if the 
foot be sore the head will look down unto it, the 
hand will stroke it : now we are all members one 
of another, as the Apostle teacheth us.* 

5. To call to mind that of our Saviour, " For- 
give, and ye shall be forgiven."! 

• Romans xii. 5. t Luke vi. 37. 







1 consider how soon the delight of meat and 
drink passeth away. 

2. How much it displeaseth God, " Behold this 
was the iniquity of Sodom, pride, fulness of bread,"* 

3. That fasting goeth evermore with prayer and 

4. That pleasure in meats and drinks, is the 
pleasure rather of beasts than men. 

5. That nature is content with little. 

* Ezekiel xvi. 49. 







TO call to mind that God hath made nothing to 
be idle, and that every thing in nature doth 
finish his course by a kind of motion. 

2. That slothfulness doth depress the mind, and 
causeth a loathing of honest labour. 

3. That it is no other but the sepulchre of a 
living man, for they which do nothing may be said 
to be dead, or have no being amongst men. 

4. That as God made the bird to fly, so man to 

^. That labour doth prevent evil, as the vessel 
that is full can receive no other liquor. 

6. To consider that David, not when he was per- 
secuted of Saul, or when he was in the war, fell 
into sin, but when he was at home, doing nothing. 
That Solomon, not when he was building the Tem- 
ple, but when he was at ease and quiet, offended 

7. That Adam, in the state of innocency, was 
appointed to labour. 



O Q 


8. That though some came sooner, some later, 
into the vineyard,* yet all laboured that had the 
penny at the end of the day. 

9. That our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ hav- 
ing cured the man that lay diseased of a long in- 
firmity, gave him this admonition after his curing, 
" Behold thou art made whole, sin no more, lest 
a worse thing come unto thee."t 

* Matt. XX. 9. t John v. 14. 






rriHE first figure of this Divine Sacrament is 
-*- mentioned in Genesis ;* When. Abraham ob- 
tained a noble victory against those kings there 
spoken of, Abraham returning from the victory, 
saith the scripture, Melchisedeck, the king of Sa- 
lem, for that he was a priest of the most high God, 
offered bread and wine, and blessed Abraham. But 
that Melchisedeck was a figure of Christ, St. Paul 
to the Hebrews proveth,t and that the bread and 
wine offered of Him was a figure of the Body and 
Blood of Christ, which He being a King and Priest 
after the order of Melchisedeck,^ ottered unto the 
most high God, and afterward left unto us His Body 
and Blood spiritually, under the signs of bread and 
wine, as the Holy Fathers with one consent do 
teach. But of this figure learn, as in the most 
Holy Sacrament, we faithfully receive Christ, and 
obtain a blessing of Him, so it is necessary, that 

* Gen. xiv. 18. t Ileb. vii. 1. t Psalm ex. 4. 





first we prepare to fight against the unruly motions 
of our mind, and put away our sins by the works 
of contrition and confession, as that valiant Abra- 
ham cast out the kings, his enemies. 

2. A figure of this most Holy Sacrament was 
the Shew-bread which was kept on the Table of 
proposition, in the sight of God.* None were to 
eat of this Bread, but those that were clean and 
sanctified, and therefore it was called the Holy and 
Sanctified Bread,t by which is signified that if we 
be fed with the Sacred Bread of the law of grace 
prefigured by that Bread, it is necessary that we 
be chaste, and that we have a good conscience. 

3. A figure of this Divine Sacrament was the 
cake baked under the ashes, which the angel 
brought to Elias, by virtue whereof he being 
strengthened, as the Holy Scripture doth testify,| 
walked forty days and forty nights even to the 
mount of God, Horeb, where afterwards he saw 
the Lord. This figure doth signify the power and 
efiicacy which the Holy Communion doth yield us, 
to finish the troublesome peregrinations of this 
life, even until we come to the Heavenly hill, 
where we shall see God with inexplicable pleasure. 

Now, as common bread doth first of all preserve 
the life temporal ; secondly, doth augment and 
strengthen it ; thirdly, although often eaten, yet it 

* Exodus XXV. 30. Leviticus xxiv. 6. 
t 1 Samuel xxi. 6. Matthew xii. 4. t 1 Kings xix. 8. 

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doth not breed loathsomeness ; yea, rather it ^^ ^^ 
evil sign, when bread doth not refresh, to any one; 
fourthly, a feast without bread, although it abound 
with most costly dishes, is imperfect. So-this Sa- 
cramental Bread first of all, it doth preserve a spir- 
itual life ; secondly, by confirming grace, which is 
the life of the soul, it augmenteth the same, and 
maketh it strong against the assaults of the devil : 
thirdly, to men spiritually minded it never bringeth 
loathsomeness, though it pleaseth not the palate of 
the sick, which cometh to pass, ex organo male dis- 
jjosito, of the palate that is ill-disposed. 

The natural man, saith St. Paul, perceiveth not 
the things which are of God ;* fourthly, let the 
Christian man have all the goods of this mortal 
life, if that be wanting in Him which is contained 
in the Holy Sacrament, he hath nothing : yea rath- 
er, he may truly be called miserable ; fifthly and 
lastly, the bread before it cometh to perfection, it 
suffereth many things : for the grain of corn which 
is the matter thereof, is first sown, and covered in 
the earth, then it is cut down, afterwards it is bound 
as a malefactor, imprisoned in the barn, threshed 
out, winnowed, ground in the mill, bolted, and 
scorched with tire, so that it may very well agree 
Avith this Sacrament, Avherein the elements are not 
whole, but broken and poured out, wherein also 
the Passion of Christ our Lord, and His suffering 

* 1 Cor. ii. 14. 

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SO great things for us, is represented, before He 
becomes this Divine food for our souls. 

4. The Paschal Lamb was a figure of this Sa- 
crament,* and so St. Paul himself saith it was, 
" Christ our Passover, or our Paschal Lamb is 
sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the Feast."t 

Now of the old Passover this was the ceremo- 
ny ; it must be a lamb without blemish, of a year 
old ; it must be eaten at Jerusalem, roasted, and in 
haste, with wild lettuce and sweet bread; those 
who should eat thereof must have their shoes on 
their feet ; by which ceremony God signified unto 
the Jews, that they were strangers in Egypt, as we 
all are in this world : and further, we are hereby 
admonished of divers duties required in our Chris- 
tian Passover. 

St. Chrysostom, in the 83d Homily upon Mat- 
thew, applieth that ceremony xmto us. If, saith 
he, the Jews about to go only through Palestine 
were fed with a lamb after so careful an order, 
with what vigilance ought we to feed in this Sa- 
crament on the true immaculate Lamb, who have 
our journey to Heaven ! Let us eat thereof in His 
Church, eat with charity, going forward to our land 
of rest. In the 25th of Leviticus, verse 2, God 
saith, " You shall eat of the old fruit, until the new 
come." So did his people of the old Passover : 
as they were delivered from Eg^-pt, so were we 

* Exodus xii. 3. t 1 Cor. v. 7, 8. 

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from a worse servitude. Of the Paschal and Typi- 
cal Larab, a bone must not be broken : no more 
was there of our true Lamb upon the Cross : sac 
riJicatejiUum, sacrifice my son ; so smite hos ahire, 
let these go.* 

5. A figure of this Holy Sacrament was manna, 
given to the people of Israel in the desert. f St. 
Paul also in effect saith as much, where he doth 
mention the two Sacraments, that the Red sea was 
a figure of Baptism, and manna of this Holy Sa- 
crament. We did all eat, saith he, of one spiritu- 
al meat, indeed our manna is a spiritual meat.J 

The manna had these properties. 

First, although some gathered much and others 
less, yet there was a sufficient measure for all ; 
so in this Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, there 
is a sufficient measure according to the measure 
of faith. 

Secondly, manna might be gathered any day 
except the Sabbath ; when the sun arose, it vanish- 
ed ; so this Heavenly manna serveth us until the 
everlasting Sabbath of the life to come : and when 
the Sun of Glory shall appear it shall then cease. 

Thirdly, manna did give taste of all kinds ac- 
cording unto the will of the eater. This manna 
hath sweetness unto the faith of the faithful re- 
ceiver, so disposed. 

Fourthly, many of the Jews were very grievous- 

John xviii. 8. 

t Exodus xvi 15. 

I 1 Cor. X. 3, 4. 



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ly punished, for that they contemned manna, say- 
ing, Our souls loatheth this light meat.* So St. 
Paul sheweth. That in his time many were sick 
and weak among them of Corinth, for that this Di- 
vine Sacrament was despised, and many unwor- 
thily communicated.! 

Fifthly, manna was called angels' food,;}: so 
that manna came down from Heaven. || 

Sixthly, the taste of that manna was like the j 
taste of cakes mixed with oil and honey, sweet ; 
what more sweet to the soul than the Blessed Sa- 

Seventhly, they that ate of that manna died ;^ 
they that eat of this manna shall live forever.^ 

6. The sixth figure was the Ark : for like as 
the Ark, saith Thomas Aquinas, was made of Shit- 
tim wood,** that is to say, of shining and pure ce- 
dar : so was this, of the most pure Body of the 
Son of God. 

Again, the Ark was gilded within and without ; 
which may resemble the wisdom and love of Christ. 
There were three things in the ark of special note : 
the golden pot, the rod of Aaron, and the two ta- 
bles of the law. 

The golden pot, containing manna, may betoken 
the soul of Christ, containing the fulness of the 
Deity ; the rod of Aaron His Priestly power ; the 

• Numbers ixi. 5. t 1 Cor. xi. 30. t Psalm bcxviii. 25. 

II John vi. 51. (> Jolin vi. 49. t Ibid. vi. 51. 

** Exodus XXV. 10. 

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14 ^ 

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two tables, that He was the Eternal Law-maker. 
But the Holy Scripture maketh mention of two 
things principally, concerning the Ark, which do 
marvellously appear in this Sacrament : the one, 
that by the benefit of the Ark the people were not 
only preserved, but much prospered ; the other, 
that God grievously punished those who unworthi- 
ly treated His Ark, or gave not worthy reverence 
unto the same. We read, when the people of Is- 
rael, in one war against the Philistines, had lost 
four thousand men, they procured that the ark was 
brought into their tents, hoping by the presence 
thereof to obtain the victory ;* but the contrary 
happened, for the ark of God was taken by the ene- 
my, and thirty thousand men perished of the host 
of Israel for their perverse life and small piety, 
having such a Presence amongst them. 

The Philistines also, who unworthily handled 
the Ark, setting it with their idol Dagon, how 
sharply were they punished? But chiefly the 
men of Ashdod, as that Holy Scripture saith, " The 
hand of God was heavy upon them :"t but the 
house of Obededom, who received the Ark dutiful- 
ly, prospered. 

7. A figure of this sacrament was the meal of 

When the prophet commanded that certain 
herbs should be seethed for the children of the 

* 1 Samuel iv. 3. t Ibid v. 6. t 2 Kings iv. 38, 41. 

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prophets, they, tasting them, found that they were 
so bitter, that they cried to Elisha, " O man of 
God, death is in the pot ;" wherefore, the holy 
prophet cast meal into the pot, wherewith he took 
away the bitterness : so Christ, by meal or bread 
of the Sacrament, taketh away the bitterness of 
our afflictions, and causeth that they bring us life 
and not death. 

8. A figure of this most holy institution was 
that great Passover which king Hezekiah kept,* 
when he prayed for the people, that God would 
be merciful unto him that prepared his heart to 
seek the Lord God of his fathers, though he were 
not cleansed according to the purification of the 
Sanctuary, when he spake comfortably unto the 
Levites, and the whole multitude, who kept the 
feast with great joy. Our Hezekiah hath not only 
prayed for the purifying of His people, but hath 
sanctified them, spoken comfortably, kept a joyful 
Passover, such as never was in Israel. 

Last of all, a prophecy of this our Passover was 
that, " Send ye a lamb to the ruler of the land 
from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the 
daughter of Zion."t 

* 2 Chron. XXX. 18, 19. f Isaiah xvi. 1. 

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HOLY sacrament; and GATHERED OUT OF THE 


o <^ 


Divine, ■ 

Most noble J 

Pure, "^ 


y Sacrament. 

> Mystery. 

S Piety, 
O Mystery of ^ p J^_ 

Holy of Holies, 
Hidden Manna. 






WHAT couldest Thou do, most merciful Lord, 
for us and for our good, that Thou hast not 
done ? Thou hast taken our frail nature upon 
Thee, and given us the Divine ; Thou hast freely 
offered unto us the riches of Thy mercy, the treas- 
ures of Thy grace ; the abundance of Thy love, 
by this great, inestimable, and most Divine Sacra- 
ment, by this blessed, pure, and venerable Myste- 
ry, the Mystery of peace and piety, the Holy of 
Holies, the hidden manna ; whereby it is evident, 
with what flames of love Thou didst burn. Whose 
delight is to be with the sons of men ;* the fruit of 
Whose love is to shew mercy ; and because the 
fire of this love could no longer be hid, it must 
needs break out by this Holy Mystery, left unto 
us ; for which, O Lord, we give unto Thee honour, 
praise, power, and dominion, now and for ever- 
more. Amen. 

* Proverbs viii. 31. 







OGOOD and gracious Jesus, Thou didst eat 
the Paschal Lamb in Jerusalem, with Thy 
dear beloved disciples, and arising from Supper, 
didst gird Thyself about with a towel, and poured 
water into a basin, and kneeling upon Thy knees, 
Thou meekly didst wash the feet of Thy disci- 
ples, and wiped them with a towel. 

O most good and gracious Jesu, Thou, before 
Thou should suffer did bequeath a most excellent 
good thing unto Thy children, as a fatherly legacy, 
leaving for us Thy most Sacred Body to be our 
meat, and Thy most precious Blood to be our 
drink: there can no wit nor understanding pene- 
trate and thoroughly see the bottomless depth of 
Thy charity. 

O most good and gracious Jesu, Thou coming 
to the Garden of Olives, began to fear, and to be 
heavy, whereupon Thou didst say to Thy disci- 


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pies, " My soul is sorrowful unto death :" and then 
divided and sundered from them. Thou settest 
Thyself upon Thy knees, and falling upon the 
earth flat on Thy face, Thou prayedst unto Thy 
Father, and fully and wholly resignedst and yield- 
est Thyself unto Him, saying. Father, Thy will 
be done. And at length, through a most painful 
agony, wherewith Thou wert grievously oppressed 
and afflicted, Thou didst sweat throughout all Thy 
Body, a bloody sweat. 

good and gracious Jesu, Thou, kindled and 
burning with an ineffable desire to redeem, wentest 
to meet Thine enemies, and suffered Judas, the 
traitor, to kiss Thee, Thyself to be taken, and to 
be bound with all confusion and shame, and most 
unworthily to be led unto Annas, where Thou suf- 
fered most meekly to be stricken on Thy most in- 
nocent face. 

good and gracious Jesu, Thou, being fast 
bound like a notorious malefactor, wast led unto the 
house of Caiphas the high priest, where the Jews 
most unjustly accused Thee, most spitefully struck 
and buffeted Thee, scornfully wast Thou mocked 
and blindfolded, being bidden to prophecy who 
strake Thee, doing to Thee innumerable injuries 
all the night. 

O good and gracious Jesu, Thou in the morning 
wast brought before Pilate, and with most sweet 
and pleasant countenance, casting Thine eyes down 
O ■ — — O 

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Stood before him in the judgment hall ; and when 
Thou wast most falsely accused of the Jews, and 
many a rebuke and reproach given Thee, Thou 
meekly held Thy peace, and made no answer. 

O good and gracious Jesu, Thou wast sent from 
Pilate to Herod. This Herod, of a very curious 
and vain mind, coveting to see some miracle at 
Thy hand, asked and demanded many things of 
Thee ; the Jews cried out against Thee, but Thou, 
amongst all these, most wisely held Thy peace. 
For this cause Herod and all his, despised Thee. 
O how immeasurable was this humility and obedi- 
ence ? At the will and pleasure of thine enemies. 
Thou wentest forth. Thou returnedst again, suffer- 
ing them to do with Thee what they would. 

O good and gracious Jesu, Thou in the judg- 
ment hall, being stripped naked, and without any 
compassion bound fast to a pillar, was most cruelly 
scourged, there was Thy virginal and tender flesh 
cut with whips, and torn with stripes, altogether 
mangled and deformed with black and blue, and 
many a wound, so that the streams of Thy most 
precious Blood ran down on every side upon the 

O good and gracious Jesu, after that sore and 
sharp scourging of Thine, to put Thee unto more 
shame, Thou wast clothed with a purple garment, 
vile and torn ; they also, making a crown of thorns, 
painfully pressed the same upon Thy most Holy 

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o ( 


Head ; and while the sharp thorns pricked griev- 
ously and wounded sore Thy head, Thy most pure 
Blood ran down abundantly over all Thy lovely face 
and neck ; then they putting a reed into Thy right 
hand, and kneeling down before Thee in scorn, 
saluted Thee saying, " All hail. King of the Jews." 

O good and gracious Jesu, Thou wast brought 
forth by Pilate unto the furious Jews, to be gazed 
and looked upon, wearing Thy crown of thorns 
and purple garment ; but they cried out with more 
cruelty to have Thee crucified. 

O good and gracious Jesu, Thou wast delivered 
up unto the will and pleasure of the Jews, who by 
and by led Thee to be crucified, laying Thy heavy 
cross upon Thy sore and bloody shoulders : thus 
didst thou bear most meekly Thine own cross, 
whose great weight pained Thee full sore, and 
coming unto the place of Thy suffering, all weary 
and breathless with pain, for my sake Thou didst 
not refuse to taste wine mingled with gall and 
myrrh, which was there given unto Thee. 

O good and gracious Jesu, when thou wast 
stripped naked, then were Thy sore wounds, by 
the violent plucking off Thy clothes, renewed. O 
what a bitter and cruel pain didst Thou suffer, 
when Thy tender hands and undefiled feet were 
with blunt and rough nails fast nailed unto the 
cross, and when the joints of Thy limbs were 
loosed. with what love and sweetness of char- 

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ity didst Thou offer Thy hands and feet to be 
bored through. Then out of the wounds of Thy 
hands and feet, as it had been out of wells, Thy 
precious Blood plentifully gushed out. 

O good and gracious Jesu, Thou hanging upon 
the cross between two thieves wast assailed with 
blasphemies, but Thou prayedst unto the Father 
the while, saying, " Father, forgive them, they 
wot not what they do." Then didst Thou promise 
Paradise unto the thief, then gavest Thou Thy 
dear beloved mother, who, pierced with the sword 
of sorrow, stood by the cross, unto Thy beloved 
disciple John ; and after Thou hadst suffered three 
long hours' intolerable pains, and thirsted very 
vehemently, they gave Thee eysell to drink, which 
when Thou hadst tasted, bowing down Thy vener- 
able head, Thou yieldest up Thy spirit. O what 
a disease was sin, which nothing could cure, but 
the death of the Physician. 

O good and gracious Jesu, good Shepherd, thus 
Thou bestowed Thyself for Thy sheep : the right 
side of Thy body was opened with a spear, out of 
which flowed both Water and Blood, mystically 
resembling the two Sacraments ; for us Thou 
wouldest that Thy loving and tender heart should 
be wounded ; afterward Thy immaculate Body be 
taken down from the cross, Joseph and Nicode- 
mus winding it up in sindon or clean linen, laying 
it in a new sepulchre. Grant, O Lord, that we 

c o 

o — — o 


may by faith lay up this Thy blessed Body in clean 
affections, and in the new sepulchre of a devout 
and religious heart. Amen. 


Son of the living God, most mighty. Who for 
the exceeding great charity that Thou didst bear 
towards me hast vouchsafed to be made man, Thou 
wouldest for my sake be born in a stable and laid 
in a manger, be fed with the little milk of the 
maiden Thy mother, suffer neediness and poverty, 
be sore troubled three and thirty years with 
manifold labours and careful pains ; Thou would- 
est for very inward pain and agony be all in 
a Bloody sweat, and be apprehended and taken, 
shamefully be bound, unworthily be condemned, 
unjustly be stricken with buffets and blows, be 
clothed in purple by way of mockery ; Thou 
wouldest be beaten and torn most cruelly with 
stripes, crowned with thorns, overladen with a 
painful and heavy Cross, and be nailed and fasten- 
ed to the same Cross ; Thou, the clother and gar- 
nisher of the stars, hangest, all naked, despised, 
wounded and with innumerable sorrows afflicted, 
upon the Cross for my sake : Thou sheddest for 
me Thy most pure and precious Blood ; all this 
Thou didst for me. I embrace in the arms of my 
soul Thy venerable passion, I forsake and renounce 
O O 

c o 


all sensual pleasure, I resign myself wholly into 
Thy hands ; Thine only will, Lord, Thine only 
will be done in me. 

O most sweet and merciful Jesu, mortify what- 
soever liveth sensually in me, garnish and adorn 
me with Thy merits and virtues : O prepare, Lord, 
a delectable and pleasant habitation for Thyself in 
me, renew my spirit, my soul, and my body, with 
Thy excellent grace, knit me unto Thee most near- 
ly, change and transform me altogether in Thee, 
that Thou mayest still have delight in me. Hear 
me graciously, Lord, hear me graciously, for 
Thine infinite mercies' sake. Amen. 


Meditation i. 7. 

What hast Thou committed, most sweet Child, 
that Thou shouldest be so judged? What hast 
Thou offended, most loving innocent, that Thou 
shouldest be so hardly treated ? What is Thy of- 
fence ? What is Thy fault ? What is the cause 
of Thy death, and occasion of Thy condemnation ? 
I it is that am the wound of Thy sorrow, the cause 
of Thy slaughter : I am the desert of Thy death, 
the wickedness of Thy punishment, the stroke of 
Thy passion, the labour of Thy torment. O won- 
derful manner of correction, and order of unspeak- 
O O 

O Q 


able Mystery ! the wicked ofFendeth, and the just 
is punished : the guilty transgresseth, and the in- 
nocent is beaten ; the unjust sinneth, and the just 
is condemned ; that which the evil deserveth, the 
good suffereth ; and what the servant committeth, 
the Lord dischargeth; what man hath offended, 
God satisfieth. 

Whither, O Son of God, whither hath Thy hu- 
mility descended, whither hath Thy charity burnt ? 
Whither hath Thy pity proceeded, Thy benignity 
increased? Whither hath Thy love attained, 
whither hath Thy compassion extended ? For I 
have done wickedly, and Thou art punished ; I 
have committed the oftence, and Thou art chasten- 
ed with revenge ; I have done the fault, and Thou 
art subjected to torment; I have waxen proud, and 
Thou art humbled ; I am puffed up, and Thou art 
diminished ; I became disobedient, and Thou pay- 
edst the punishment of disobedience ; I gave my- 
self to gluttony, and Thou art afflicted with hunger. 
The tree carried me to unlawful desire, perfect 
charity led Thee to the tree of Thy cross ; I tasted 
of the forbidden fruit, and Thou layest under the 
torment; I am delighted with meat, and Thou la- 
bourestatthe door; I enjoy delicacies, and Thou art 
torn in pieces with nails. I taste the sweetness of 
an apple. Thou tastedst the bitterness of gall. Eve 
rejoiceth laughing with me, Mary suffereth wail- 
ing with Thee. Behold, Thou King of Glory, be- 


Q- Q 


hold my impiety, and Thy pity shineth : behold my 
unrighteousness, and Thy righteousness appeareth. 
What, O my King, and my God, what shall I ren- 
der Thee for all Thy benefits which Thou hast 
bestowed on me ? For there cannot be found in 
man's heart what may worthily be rendered for 
such rewards ; can the sharpness of man's wit de- 
vise whereunto the mercy of God may be compar- 
ed? Nor is it in the power of the creature to 
recompense the sufficiency of the Creator ; but 
there is, O Son of God, there is in this so admi- 
rable dispensation, that on which my own weak- 
ness may in some things rely ; if my mind, prick- 
ed with Thy visitation, crucify her flesh, with the 
vices and concupiscenses thereof; and this thing, 
when Thou hast granted it, beginneth now, as it 
were, to suffer with Thee ; for that Thou hast 
vouchsafed to die for my sin ; and so by the vic- 
tory of the inward man, by the conflict, it shall be 
armed to the outward triumph ; forasmuch, as, this 
spiritual persecution overcome, it may not fear for 
Thy love to yield itself unto the material sword ; 
and so the smallness of my condition, if it please 
Thy goodness, shall be able for her power, to an- 
swer the greatness of the Creator. I pray Thee 
for Thy accustomed mercies, pour into my wounds 
that, (the rancour of my viperous infection cast 
forth,) may restore me to my wonted health, that, 
tasting the nectar of Thy sweetness, it may cause 

o ' o 


me to despise with all my heart, the pleasant allure- 
ments of this world, and to fear no adversity there- 
of, for Thy sake ; and being mindful of my eternal 
nobility, I may loathe the winds of this transitory 
fear. Let nothing be sweet, I pray Thee, unto me, 
without Thee ; nothing please me, nothing pre- 
cious, nothing beautiful, beside Thee. Let all 
things, I beseech Thee, be vile unto me without 
Thee ; let them be of no account ; that which is 
contrary to Thee, let it be troublesome unto me • 
and let Thy good-will be my continual desire. — ■ 
Let it grieve me to rejoice without Thee, and de- 
light me to be sorrowful for Thee. Let Thy name 
be my comfort, and the memory of Thee my con- 
solation. Let tears be my bread day and night, in 
searching out Thy judgments. Let Thy law be 
better unto me than millions of gold and silver. — 
Let it be delightful unto me to walk in the way of 
Thy commandments unto the end. So be it. 






FOR that the Spiritual Communion also is pro- 
fitable unto souls, it is necessary that we 
enter into some consideration of the same, and 
therein observe these circumstances : first, what it 
is ; secondly, after what means it may be used ; 
thirdly, what profit we reap by it : fourthly, how 
acceptable it is to God. 

For the first, we must know, that as the Sacra- 
mental Communion hath worthily the first place 
amongst the spiritual exercises of a Christian life, 
so also the Spiritual Communion hath a very God- 
ly and Divine use. When the devout man, saith 
Gerson, doth every day receive Spiritually the 
Body and Blood of his Redeemer, so often doth he 
Mystically Communicate the Mystery of Christ's 
Blessed Passion, inflamed in His love, and resolv- 
ed into devotion towards Him ; so often as we re- 
ceive Christ in affection and desire of mind, (which 


Q __Q 


the faithful often should do,) this is called our Spir- 
itual Communion. 

For the second, what commodity this bringeth 
unto the soul we may gather by the manifold ef- 
fects thereof ; for as he who moved by the JHoly 
Ghost believeth, sorroweth for his sins, and by lov- 
ing God desireth Spiritually to be Baptized, doth 
obtain the grace of Sacramental Baptism, which 
desire of Baptism, is called by the Divines, Bap- 
tisma Spiritus, " The Baptism of the Spirit," so 
doth it also happen in this Spiritual Communion. 

The third, how we reap profit by receiving Christ 
into the Holy desires of our souls, it may be un- 
derstood by the increase of love : " While I was 
musing," saith the Prophet, " The fire kindled." — 
The elevation of the mind unto God doth take us 
away from earthly affections, and carry us unto 
Him on Whom our desires are wholly fixed. 

The fourth, how acceptable this is unto God, we 
may easily know, for He that accepted the inten- 
tion of Abraham in offering up his son, and said 
unto Solomon, " because this was in thy hcnrt," 
He doth accept of our good desires to embrace Him 
in the arms of our affection, and also doth reward 
this desire as a deed done. But we are^ to consider 
that we must not always stay upon the desire of 
our will, and only receive Christ spiritually, but we 
must proceed further to receive Him together, both 
Spiritually and Sacramentally, so often as possibly 

o 6 

c o 


we can. For it is not enough to follow Christ in 
our intention, or in this case barely to believe, but 
we must also receive Him in this Holy Mystery, 
which is not only a representation of Christ's 
death, but also a participation of the benefits pro- 
ceeding from the same ; participation we have 
with Christ, either by imputation or by actual in- 
fusion ; by imputationwhen it is said, " Believe and 
live ;" by actual infusion either where it is said, 
" Wash and be clean," or " communicate and 

C— O 





CONSIDER that among the manifold fruits of 
this Heavenly Sacrament, that is to be ac- 
counted to be a principal one, that it maketh the 
Son of God himself to abide in us, and us in Him ; 
now in our greatest extremities to have a pledge 
of Christ's abode in us, and of our abode in Him, 
what more comfortable ? 

From hence it was that the Holy Sacrament was 
wont to be administered to faithful people in dan- 
ger of death, that they might be constant in the 
confession of Christ, and able to withstand the 
temptations of the devil ; to strengthen them in 
taking the cup of affliction, by taking the cup of 

2. Consider, that it also profiteth in attaining the 
health of the body, seeing it is so available to the 
salvation of the soul. For if at the only touch of 
Christ's garment, many received health, what can- 

o— — o 


not Christ Himself do, entering into the soul of 
the sick. 

3. Consider, that Christ knowing what His 
Apostles should need, and what we should all need, 
strength against afflictions ; yea, foreseeing our 
conflict to come, ordained this most Holy Sacra- 
ment, for the spiritual help of our souls. We must, 
therefore, think that by how much greater neces- 
sity we labour, by so much this Sacrament doth 
exercise more effectually wholesome effects, see- 
ing it is proper unto the Lord to help more rea- 
dily then, when greatest necessity doth require 

4. Consider, that here the distressed either in 
body or mind, may apply unto himself in particu- 
lar the merits of Christ's Passion, and raise up him- 
self by a comfortable participation of this Holy 
Mystery, and say, thou hast good cause to rejoice, 
O my soul, that the Lord of Majesty cometh unto 
thee, that He may comfort thee departing this 
world, and be thy assistant help against the as- 
saults of Satan, who endeavoureth to draw thee 
away from the reward of life; continue only a 
good will for all, though thou art faint and feeble, 
though thine enemies be many and mighty, yet 
having received Divine strength thou shalt say, I 
can do all things in Him that strengthened me. 

Cast all thy hopes on Jesus, and thou shalt nei- 
ther be overcome of them, nor put to shame. Thou 

o o 



knowest well that the body of a certain dead man 
was restored to life by the only touch of the body 
of Elisha.* If the bones of a dead prophet had so 
great virtue, that they restored one from death to 
life, and the thieves, amazed by the miracle of the 
thing, durst do no evil ; what will not the living 
and glorious Body of Jesus do, entering into thee ? 
I doubt not, but it will increase greater might in 
thee, seeing He is God omnipotent and Lord of 
all, and the devil shall be overcome and confounded 
at His presence. 

O good God, teach me how I ought to give 
thanks unto my loving Lord, who seeing me in 
time of need, beset with infernal lions, doth send 
me food, not by the prophet Habakkuk, or by a 
Heavenly Angel, but Himself cometh to be my 
food, that, fainting, I receive comfort. 

Consider, O my soul, this unspeakable mercy. 
Thou knowest thou wast loved of thy Redeemer, 
in His greatest extremities, when He, departing 
out of this life to the Father, did then institute this 
Holy Sacrament for thy welfare. Thou seest also 
He loveth thee in thy extremities, it remaineth 
that thou crying out with the prophet David, say, 
" Lord, what is man that thou art so mindful of 
him ;"t or with the Apostle, " If 1 live, I live unto 
the Lord ; if I die, I die unto the Lord : whether 
I live or die, I am the Lord's."^ 

* 2 Kings xiii. 21. + Psalm viii. 4. t Romans xiv. 8. 

o ■ o 





HE who will do the thing which he ought to 
do concerning this Sacrament, and that 
which the dignity of such a Mystery doth require, 
must set out a certain space of time to himself, 
wherein he may perform those things which per- 
tain to the preparation thereunto. 

He shall do very well, if as Moses commanded 
the people, that before they were to receive the 
Law, they should prepare themselves. So also 
he who is now about to receive the Law of life, 
should at least make some preparation unto the 
receiving of the same. 

The Holy Scriptures do testify, that the maids 
of king Ahasuerus* coming only into his sight but 
once, six mouths prepared themselves with oil of 
myrrh, and other six months with certain sweet 

Esther ii. 12. 





If these did do this, that they might find favour 
with an earthly man, what preparation think we 
is required of us, that we may find favour in the 
sight of the King of kings ? 

One of the chiefest praises of the Blessed Vir- 
gin Mary, for which the Angel did commend her, 
he sheweth when he saith " Thou hast found fa- 
vour with God ;" and ought it to seem a hard and 
troublesome thing imto us, to do, for so great glory 
and dignity, that which these women have done 
for such vanity ? With what face, I pray, will we 
refuse labour, yea, although all the powers and 
strength of our souls and bodies were to be em- 
ployed, that we may but at least come into the 
grace and favour of God ? specially when we hear 
that these miserable maids spent their whole life 
that they might come into the favour of one mortal 
man ; but because this is a hard thing for us to do, 
let us prepare ourselves (as the shortness of time 
will permit) in doing all that which in us lieth. 
But if you shall ask me what that is, I answer in 
a word, a lifting up of the soul to God. 

^ 6 

o o 



In prav. vit, spirit. 

BEFORE I communicate I prepare myself 
after this manner : some two days before I ex- 
amine my own conscience, I humbly confess me 
of my sins to God, I am heartily sorry for my 
sins ; when I may not fast, at the least I eat and 
drink sparingly. 

2. The next morning I begin sooner than at 
other times a prayer in my mind ; in preparing my 
mind I crave the assistance of God, to communi- 
cate sincerely, and that He make me such a one 
as I ought to be, coming to His Holy Table, that 
this most Holy Sacrament may obtain in my heart, 
that fruit which it obtaineth in the hearts of those 
who worthily communicate. 

3. Then I consider how great a thing it is to be 
partaker of so Holy a mystery, to receive Him 
whom the Angels adore, the Prophets have desir- 
ed, the Apostles loved, the Martyrs imitated, and 

O — O 

) o 


all Holy men coveted, with unspeakable desire to 
honour, love, and unite them unto Him by this Holy 

4. Moved with this desire, I study to inflame 
my soul more largely by considering Christ's un- 
speakable love, by calling to mind the manifold 
graces this Sacrament bringeth with it to the soul 
of the devout Communicant. 

5. When I come to communicate I exercise my 
heart in these contemplations ; first, I call to mind 
my own vileness ; secondly, I cast myself down 
at the feet of Jesus ray only Saviour and Redeem- 
er ; thirdly, I make a short confession of my faith, 
as, I believe in God, &c. 

6. Sometimes I talk thus with my soul, saying. 
Behold, my soul, thy Lord and God, I love Him 
Whom thou desirest, account thyself happy in re- 
ceiving Him, love Him and desire Him to dwell 
with thee. 

7. Lastly, I lay before Him all my sins and in- 
firmities in the depth of my heart, and I most fer- 
vently desire that he would pardon them all, and I 
purpose earnestly to amend what hath been amiss, 
and so with all humble reverence I come to the 
Lord's Table. 

My demeanour after this short form of preparing 

After this short form of preparing myself, I be- 
O O 

Q- O 


take me to some secret place, that I may talk only 
with my Lord, Whom I have by faith received 
into the house of my soul ; and, first, I set before 
God the Father the Holy Sacrifice of Christ our 
Lord, and I set before Him whatsoever He hath 
suffered for me, using these or the like words. 
Behold, O Eternal Father, Thy Son, Whom of 
Thy infinite love Thou hast sent from Heaven un- 
to the earth, that He might take flesh of man, be 
born in a stable, fly into Egypt by the persecution 
of Herod, and should be in great poverty. Be- 
hold, O Father, what great things Fie hath done 
and suffered for me in the wilderness, in preach- 
ing, in fasting, in praying, in journeying, in perse- 
cutions of the Jews, in hearing blasphemies, sus- 
taining injuries and reproaches, all which He suf- 
fered at the hands of the ungrateful Jews, see Him 
betrayed and sold for thirty pence. I offer Him 
unto Thee, O Holy Father, bound in the garden, 
led away to Annas, beaten and buffeted in the house 
of Caiaphas, accused before Pilate, mocked of 
Herod, scourged and crucified of the Jews. Be- 
hold, O Father, His head hanging down. His 
hands and feet pierced through. His most sacred 
side opened. 

Behold the Heavens and Earth mourning after 
their manner, the sorrowful Mother, the dear dis- 
ciples bewailing Him, and the ungratefvd Jews by 
so much the more to wax mad against Him. I offer 

o o 

c, o 


Him unto Thee, anointed with myrrh, wrapped in 
clean linen, buried in a new sepulchre. These 
things done, I make an end, praising, blessing, and 
giving thanks to God, that He hath loved us so that 
He gave His only Son for our Salvation. 

2. After this I turn me unto Christ with all 
thankfulness for His benefits, and I open unto Him 
as unto a most holy Physician my infirmities and 
all my faults, as to a most gentle Lord ; I open un- 
to Him all my defects, into which I am wont to 
fall, desiring Him to minister a remedy, that I re- 
lapse not so often, and specially I pray that He 
would grant me grace to receive Him hereafter 

3. I purpose to amend wherein I am wont to 
offend, and namely, I decree to root out some one 
sin, and in the place thereof to insert some virtue 
whereof I have need, that I may always go for- 
ward from better to better ; and I humbly pray 
God's Divine Majesty that He grant me strength to 
execute that thing. 

4. Last of all, I diligently keep my heart all that 
day, thinking that the Lord resteth therein as His 
house, wherefore I give my endeavour, that I may 
use all modesty, as well in speaking, seeing, and 
walking, as in all my outward conversation : often 
I say with myself, this day, Lord, Thou hast 
vouchsafed to come unto me a sinner, this day 
Thou hast renewed my heart by Thy Holy Pas- 

o o 





sion, I pray Thee abide with me, go not from me. 
And so applying myself unto the prayers of the 
day, I use the same prayers with greater devotion 
than ordinary, I give thanks for all benefits, espe- 
cially for those received by this most High and 
Holy Sacrament. 






QFOR what cause do you receive the Bles- 
• sed Sacrament ? 

A. First, that I may observe and dutifully keep 
Christ's most Holy Institution. 

Secondly, That I may shew myself a member 
of that Body whereof He is the Head. 

Thirdly, That I may receive this sovereign re- 
past to the strengthening of my faith and the health 
of my sinful soul. 

Q. What do you receive ? 

A. The very Body and Blood of Christ, after a 
most Divine and Heavenly manner. 

Q. What profit have you by receiving? 

A. Increase of grace and love with God and 
man, and a pledge of the eternal inheritance, pur- 
chased for me in Heaven. 

Q. Why do you often Communicate ? 

A. Because my hope is, I am one of God's 







children, and therefore do desire to come often un- 
to Him, as to a loving Father. 

Q. After what manner come you ? 

A. By Faith and Repentance, having a full pur- 
pose to serve Him in Holiness and Righteousness 
all the days of my life. 






YOU must Steadfastly believe in Christ cruci- 

2. You must humble yourself by a serious con- 
sideration of your manifold sins. 

3. You must think Christ worketh in you that 
which His words do promise you. 

4. You must prepare your soul to receive the 
Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Holily. 

5. You must meditate of Christ's Passion, His 
Resurrection, and your own rising again to a better 
life to come. 

6. You must give yourself, both before and 
after this most Holy Sacrament, to prayer and de- 
votion . 

7. You must apply yourself to meditation, and 
open unto God the closet of your heart. 

8. You must bear sincere afiection and love, 
both to God and man. 

c — o 

o — o 




Wlierein is disputed, whether it be better often to communicate or 
abstain Mm the most Holy Communion ; how, and after wliat 
ntanner both may be done ; that of Love and Devotion, this of Hu- 
mility and Reverence. 

MUNDANUS. I know not truly what fruit 
there is by often Communicating ; for I see 
thee continue subject unto the same vices thou 
wert before subject to ; and live as carelessly as 
thou didst before. 

Spirit. But I know certainly that by the bene- 
fit of often Communicating, I have rooted out some 
evil manners, and unless I should often Communi- 
cate, without doubt I should be worse and worse, 
and haply at this hour I should burn in hell fire. 

Mund. Whence knowest thou, that thou should- 
est be worse and worse ? ' 

Spirit. For that I have experience in myself j 
when the time of Communicating is at hand, I ; 


o o 


bethink myself more and more carefully to abstain, 
yea, from the least sins. Contrariwise, when the 
time of Communicating is further off, I am not so 
recollected in mind, I wax also faint in devotion, I 
am prone unto vanities and trifles ; and if no other 
profit should come unto my soul, that profit alone 
ought to be sufficient to move me to frequent this 
Divine Sacrament. 

Mund. But I fear not a little, lest if I come too 
often to the Lord's Table, I make shipwreck both 
of love and fear, for that is wont to fall out by too 
often use and familiarity. 

Spirit. Yea rather the contrary dotlf often fall 
out in this Divine Duty. For if by the often and 
familiar custom and frequenting of the Communion, 
any imperfection were therein covered, there were 
just cause to diminish our love and fear toward 
Him, as it cometh to pass in human things. But 
that thing is not so in this Holy Service : for when 
He Whom we receive is a certain infinite sea of 
all perfection, by how much one useth this often, 
by so much' the more he declareth his goodness 
and perfections, and causeth that love, fear, and 
reverence towards His Divine Majesty do daily in- 

Mund. Let it be as it is, daily experience teach- 
eth that the often use of a thing, although the best, 
dothb reed contempt and loathsomeness. 

Spirit. That is in things temporal, and in sen- 
l> : O 

). Q 


sual pleasures, but in spiritual delights as St. Gre- 
gory hath well observed, satiety doth breed a de- 
sire, for then the goodness of them is made known ; 
and therefore by how much the more they are pos- 
sessed, by so much the more ardently they are de- 
sired : whence the Heavenly wisdom saith, " They 
which eat Me do still hunger, and they which 
drink Me do still thirst." 

Mund. But St. Paul saith, " He that eateth and 
drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh his own 
damnation," but if thou Communicate often, it seem- 
eth thou thinkest thyself worthy ? and is not this 
pride ? Thou also herein dost unworthily Com- 

Spirit. As if to communicate seldom doth make 
a man worthy. It is not so ; but hear me, if thou 
callest him worthy whose perfection doth equal 
the worthiness of this Sacrament, then no creature, 
although the holiest, can be worthy. And if such 
worthiness were absolutely necessary, none should 
Communicate ; for that none can attain perfection 
equal to the worthiness of this Sacrament : yet a 
man may in some sort be said to be worthy, who 
according to the advice of the Apostle St. Paul,* 
doth examine his conscience, and who doth and 
saith with him in the Gospel, "I believe, Lord, 
help my unbelief."! 

Mund. If this be sufficient, wherefore then did 

* 1 Cor. xi. 28. \ Mark ix. 24. 


Q __ O 


certain godly men of reverence speak so often of 
effectually preparing themselves as they have 
done 1 

Spirit. These of humility and reverence to this 
Holy Mystery, have spoken indeed of solemn pre- 
paration, which assuredly is meet ; but to the mat- 
ter in question, frequenting of this Holy Commun- 
ion is a most ancient custom, wherewith the Church 
first sprang, as St. Luke the Evangelist in the Acts 
of the Apostles sheweth. 

Miind. But in the primitive Church the fervent- 
ness of Christians was great, which is not now in 
us, it seemeth more safe to abstain from often Com- 
municating, for if it be otherwise it is in danger that 
we come not so disposed to Communicate as we 
ought to come. The safer Avay is rather to be 
held than the less safe. 

Spirit. Yea the selfsame thing, for that so great 
desire is wanting in us, ought to drive us to fre- 
quent this wholesome Sacrament ; for by the bene- 
fit thereof we may both wax hot, and be set on fire 
in the love of God. For he who is cold ought 
rather to betake himself to the fire, than he who is 
hot. So often as one humbleth himself before 
God, and hath a firm faith in Christ, and a good 
intention to live holily, it is commendable. 

Mund. I have often heard the Sacraments are 
instituted of Christ as medicines, but we use not 
medicines often. 




Spirit. If a man were spiritually sick, but some- 
times, then the argument were available : but 
whereas we are in a quotidian of sin, and our 
nature is weak; for, '' The just man falleth seven 
times a day," saith the Wise Man : our nature 
therefore, often iieedeth help, and so the use of a 
spiritual medicine. Moreover, whereas this Sacra- 
ment is of force to draw away evils, both present 
and to come, from the soul, it j^ better to prevent 
infirmity, than to cure it once contracted. Lastly, 
there is a great difference between corporeal medi- 
cines and this spiritual, for they only put away 
bodily diseases, and often with the evil humours 
take away the good also, but this only bringeth to 
the soul, grace, strength, and other Heavenly gifts, 
and therefore, these seldom : this often is to be 
used. Add, that for the most part bodily medicines 
are bitter and loathsome, to the intent, that as sel- 
dom as may be we use them ; but this is sweet and 
delightful, and therefore God would, that it be often 
received of us. 

Muncl. But thou canst not deny, to abstain from 
the Holy Communion, for reverence sake, unto so 
great a Sacrament, to be of modesty, and agree- 
able to virtue. | 
Spirit. I deny not, but that to give reverence to j 
it, is an action of modesty ; yet, this I say, that 
to frequent this Communion of devotion, and de- 
sire of uniting oneself with Christ is a better ac- 

o — 6 

Q o 


tion ; because this springeth of love, but that of 
fear, and it is manifest to all, that love is better 
than fear ; wherefore it argueth a religious mind 
to Communicate often. 

Mund. But I am unworthy so to do. 
Spirit. Wherefore ? 

Mund. Because I fall daily into so many sins. 
Spirit. If sins detain thee then shouldest thou 
never Communicate, because thou never ceasest to 

Mund. But communicating seldom, I have more 
time to examine myself. 

Spirit. Thou art deceived : for seeing our nature 
is prone to evil, by how much the more grievously 
sins reign in it, by so much the harder are they to 
be gone ; for a crooked tree, the longer the turning 
thereof is deferred, by so much the more hardly, 
and with greater pains it is made straight. We 
are as water, though it be sometimes heated, yet 
naturally it will wax cold again ; we are as an 
instrument, which set aside, it will groV out of 
tune again. 

Mund. I do not well understand what this my 
error is ; for I see daily with mine eyes, those 
who often Communicate,. to come coldly and with- 
out devotion, and as it were customarily to the. 
Holy Table, and no more ado. But they who 
come seldom, come with far greater devotion and 


, . o 


reverence, as it seemethto me, wherefore it is bet- 
ter to communicate seldom than often. 

Spirit. First, that it is untrue, Mundanus, which 
thou affirmest, yea, rather, many of them who 
come so seldom, come most coldly, and without 
devotion, without feeling of love, rather indeed of 
custom and consti-aint, than of pious affection. 

Mund. If it be better to communicate often 
than seldom, how cometh it to pass that this often 
Communicating is not praised of some learned 
men ? 

Spirit. I never read nor heard of any learned 
man endued with piety and judgment, that ever 
reprehended this action so Holy, so profitable, so 
acceptable to God ; but that it is dispraised of 
some carnal men, it is no marvel, it is no disgrace 
to the sun, though bats and owls cannot endure it. 

Mund. You say true ; I acknowledge that it is 
more safe often to strengthen the soul with this 
Heavenly food ; but I do it not, lest I give occa- 
sion to the world, of whom those that often Com- 
municate are had in derision. 

Spirit. If in this matter thou wilt have a regard 
of the world, then thou hast not only lost thy soul, 
but also thy wit. Art thou ignorant that it is the 
property of the world to flee from all spiritual 
things, to favour the wicked, and speak evil of the 
good 1 

Mund. As long as we are in the world, we 


o- o 


ought to frame ourselves, and conform our manners 
to the world. 

Spirit. But that is manifest foolishness. If the 
world be one of thy three capital enemies, how 
mayest thou apply thee to it, and obey the will there- 
of without manifest and apparent ruin ? Knowest 
thou what it is to abstain from the Sacred Commu- 
nion for the obloquies of the world ? No other 
thing than to be ashamed, and to account it a re- 
proach, if thou art a good Christian, and endued 
with virtue ; wherefore, and worthily too, may 
Christ be ashamed to receive thee into Heaven. 

Mund. If I should often Communicate, I must 
repent often, become a good example unto others, 
keep me at home, cast off all recreations ; which 
were to take away all my liberty from me, and 
so I should pine away, and wax old before my 

Spirit. Although thou Communicatest but once 
in a year, thou art bound to repent, to give good 
example to others ; neither art thou ignorant how 
great a sin it is to give a scandal to others. And the 
often communicating doth not take away recreations, 
but doth allow them, so they be lawful and honest. 
In that thou sayest thy liberty is taken away, it is 
not true : for, if thou dost think any thing forbid- 
den, lawful unto thee not Communicating, thou art 
deceived ; for whether thou Communicate often or 
seldom, thou art bound to abstain from sins. He 
— O 

O Q 


who for recreation offendeth his Creator, loseth 
true liberty, when he maketh himself a servant to 
sin : yea, he loseth true joy, which springeth of a 
good conscience, which, saith .Solomon, " is a con- 
tinual feast:" and in a feast there is joy, and this 
the foolish world doth not understand. 

Mund. Tfi the receiving of this most Holy Com- 
munion it is required that a man be of a quiet 
mind, which cannot be commonly brought to pass 
from the adversities and perturbations of this life. 

Spirit. Yea, rather the afflictions of this life, 
and this wretched place of exile, ought to drive us 
to Communicate often. For amongst the effects 
of this Heavenly food, this one is mentioned, that 
it giveth strength in adversity, as the Prophet 
signifieth when he saith, " Thou hast prepared a 
Table in my sight, against those that trouble 

Mund. If I did perceive I were called of God 
extraordinarily to Communicate often, I would 
willingly obey. 

Spirit. I pray when thou coraest to thine ordi- 
nary prayers, when thou goest to Church dost thou 
perceive thou art called of God extraordinarily? 

Mund. No. 

Spirit. Why then doest thou these things ? 

Mund. For that they are commanded me in the 

* rsalm xxiii. 5. 

o__ ^o 

Q O 


word of God, and seem to me good things, and are 
laid down as parts of God's worship. 

Spirif. But the Holy Communion, without ques- 
tion, is a part of God's worship, and commanded 
in His word, and is so profitable, as it is called of 
the Church, the pledge of future glory. 

Mund. Howsoever the matter is, to say the truth, 
I dare not come often to this Heavenly Table, by 
reason of my manifold imperfections that I so oft- 
en fall into. 

Spirit. It hath been answered to this before ; 
either thou desirest to be delivered from these im- 
perfections, or not to be delivered. If thou desire 
not to be delivered, thou art insensible of thy dis- 
ease ; and diseases which cause obstupefaction are 
dangerous. If thou desirest to be rid of them, 
this most Holy Sacrament, received with due pre- 
paration, will minister such strength that thou 
raayest by little and little remove them well. 

Mund. I yield to thy reasons, and would gladly 
Communicate, but I feel no devotion. 

Spirit. Perchance thou thinkest thou hast no de- 
votion unless thou shed forth tears ; that is not 
absolutely necessary, neither in these consisteth 
all devotion. The tears of the heart may suffice, 
that is, sorrow for thy sins past, and a purpose to 
prevent those to come. Moreover, he is called de- 
vout, who in all things conformeth himself unto 
God's will ; wherefore I would not that thou 




shouldest therefore abstain, because tears and sighs 
are wanting, for these are not always required ; 
God giveth them to whom He pleaseth. 

Mund. To say what I think, and that I may 
confess a truth, thou hast plainly persuaded me, 
that it is better to Communicate often than seldom ; 
but one thing yet remaineth, I am loath to acknowl- 
edge my sins. 

Spirit. If we acknowledge our sins, God is just 
to forgive us our sins.* 

Mund. Many businesses do occur, which hinder 
this so weighty a matter; I mean, the work of re- 

Spirit. This is the temptation of the devil, who, 
that he may spoil thee of the fruit of this Divine 
Sacrament, causeth that repentance seemeth troub- 
lesome unto thee, and the whole preparation to the 
Holy Communion. Furthermore, businesses do 
not hinder good works ; the businesses of greater 
moment are to be preferred before the less. There 
is time to dispatch earthly aflairs, but Heavenly 
are far above them ; when the Son of God stand- 
eth and knocketh at the door of thy heart, open 
unto Him, let Him not knock in vain. To con- 
clude, remember that the kingdom of Heaven suf- 
fereth violence, whence we see we must labour to 
attain the same. 

Mund. It is even so, I must needs confess I am 

* 1 John i. 9. 

c u 





OTercome ; wherefore my resolution is, with God's 
grace, to repair often to the blessed Sacrament. 

Spirit. Then shalt thou do that which appertains 
to a Christian to do. 






The speakers : — Catechumeus ; Doctor. 

CATECHUMEUS. I desire to be instructed 
in the doctrine of the Holy Sacrament. 

Doct. I confess thou mayest well desire to be 
instructed in this doctrine, for it is a Divine doc- 
trine : the more I consider of it the more I ad- 
mire the excellency thereof, which to me is more 
than words can express. 

Caiech. I can be content to submit myself to 
the judgment of the learned, without curious ques- 

Doct. Thou sayest well ; for my part I had rath- 
er by far commune with the humble-minded in this 
doctrine, than any other that is over curious. The 
goodness of God herein should with reverence be 

Catcch. I rest satisfied in this case ; but I would 
learn of you, what might move me to love the 
Giver of so great a gift. 



o o 


Doct. Thou speakest religiously ; for words of 
devotion in this case are sweeter than honey, or 
the honeycomb. Now, the means to love the Au- 
thor of this gift, is to consider His bounty how He 
doth herein ofier Himself unto thee, and all the 
benefits of His blessed Passion. 

Catech. I am moved with incredible joy to think 
of the innumerable benefits I receive hereby, and 
it slirreth me up to reverence and joy. 

Doct. It may well do so, for what joy is here 
offered unto the faithful, the faithful do find ; Avhat 
may they not hope for at His hand, who hath given 
Himself unto them ? what provokements to love 
and hope we have hence, there needs no long dis- 
course to manifest and shew the same. 

Catech. I acknowledge myself satisfied, be- 
seeching God to make me a dutiful receiver of this 
most Holy Mystery, even for His mercies' sake. 

Doct. To be a dutiful receiver thou must, before 
and after receiving, give thyself much to prayer, 
and observe other duties appertaining unto a care- 
ful Christian. 

6 o 





OGOD, the Creator of all things, Omnipotent 
Father, Whose beginning had no beginning, 
Whose end doth exclude all end, Whom all things 
do acknowledge their Author ; I, miserable and 
unworthy sinner, now about to repair to the High 
Feast of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, have 
a troubled heart, a soiled body, a polluted tongue, 
a wounded conscience; I am greatly amazed, and 
I know not what to choose ; if I come not, I fly 
life ; if I come unworthily, I procure damnation. 
O high Divinity ! O fearful Majesty! O pious Mer- 
cy ! whither shall I go, or whither shall I fly ? O 
wretch that 1 am, what shall I do ! I have sinned 
against Heaven, and before Thee, and am no more 
worthy to be called Thy son ; all sorrowful and 
sighing I strike my breast, and groaning, say. Woe 
is me, vile sinner, I have lost that which apper- 
tained to a son, but Thou still hast that that belong- 
eth to an indulgent Father. Pardon, therefore, O 
Father, pardon, O most gentle Father, me, Thy 



Q. Q 


prodigal son, though late returning ; reach out Thy 
hand of mercy from on High, and receive me in 
peace and favour, Who livest and reignest God 
from everlasting. Amen. 


Omnipotent and merciful God, behold I, an un- 
worthy sinner, do come to the most Holy Sacra- 
ment of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus 
Christ ; I come, I say, as the sick man to the phy- 
sician, as the unclean to the fountain of mercy, as 
the blind to the light of eternal brightness, as a 
poor beggar to the King of Glory, as the naked to 
the Lord of Heaven and earth, as the needy to the 
riches of Heaven and earth. I beseech the abun- 
dance of Thy pity to heal mine infirmity, to wash 
my foulness, to enlighten my blindness, to enrich 
my poverty, to clothe my nakedness, that I may 
receive Thee, the bread of Angels, the King of 
kings, and Lord of lords. Grant that I may re- 
ceive Thee with such respect and reverence, with 
such contrition and fear, with such faith and purity, 
with such a purpose and humility, as it is expe- 
dient for the health of my soul. 

O Lord and Father, give to me, I beseech Thee, 
an unworthy sinner, not only to receive the Sacra- 
ment, but the virtue of the Sacrament. O most 
gentle God, grant me to receive the Body and 

o— — — J 

c o 


Blood of Thy only begotten Son, that I may be 
incorporated into His mystical Body, and be ac- 
comited as a member of the same. O most loving 
Father, grant me to receive Thy dearly beloved 
Son, and that Whom I now receive, as it were 
covered with a veil, I may one day behold in glo- 
ry, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, and the 
Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen. 


I yield Thee thanks, O Christ Jesu, for Thine 
ineffable love, that by Thy death Thou didst re- 
deem mankind ; I beseech Thee suffer not Thy 
Body to be broken, and Thy Holy Blood to be 
shed in vain for me, but with Thy Blessed Body 
feed my soul, with Thy Blood quicken my spirit, 
that increasing by little and little, I may become a 
fit member of Thy Church, which is Thy Mysti- 
cal Body, and grant that I may never depart from 
that Holy League, but may continue therein, serv- 
ing Thee in Holiness and Righteousness, all the 
days of my life. Amen. 


What tongue or what mind is able to give Thee 
sufficient thanks, Lord Jesus, for Thy ineffable 
love towards us. Who to redeem man didst become 

c o 

c ^ o 


man. Thou tookest upon Thee all the injuries of 
our condition ; and last of all, as a Lamb without 
spot, wast offered upon the altar of the Cross, all 
was to reconcile us to Thy Father. And not con- 
tent with this Thy boimty towards us, but lest the 
memory of so great love should decay. Thou sitting 
in Heaven, dost, by Thy Holy Mysteries, refresh 
our souls here on earth. 

David to shew his love to Jonathan, did honour 
his son by receiving him unto his kingly table ; but 
how hast Thou honoured us who hast made parta- 
kers of Thy Heavenly Table 1 for which Thy 
Holy Name be praised, now and for evermore. — 


O my Lord, Who art worthy of infinite love and 
glory, I humbly repent me that I have oflended 
Thy Divine Majesty, I fully purpose to offend 
Thee no more, yea, though I should die. 

Merciful and loving Lord, I execrate and detest 
my sins past, I resolve to sin no more in that man- 
ner, though I suffer all the labours of the world. 

It displeaseth me, O King of infinite greatness 
that I offend Thee ; from henceforth, I sacrifice 






myself unto Thee, and I purpose to displease Thee 
no more. 

I am sorry, O my Creator, for my great ingrati- 
tude ; I . will break off from all the desires of the 
world and the flesh, rather than commit that which 
shall offend Thee. 

Thou, who art the Author and Preserver of 
my life, I detest all works of sin because they of- 
fend Thee, I firmly purpose not to commit them 

My most faithful Protector, it repenteth me that 
I have done evil in Thy sight; from henceforth I 
will do mine endeavour to abstain from sin. 

1 would not, Lord, provoke Thee to anger any 
more, for all the riches of the world, yea, though 
I were to suffer a painful martyrdom. 

I have gone astray, O infinite and eternal God 
of my soul, I have departed from Thee, for which 
I repent me : I will not depart from Thee any more, 
but will serve Thee with all faithful service. 

O infinite Goodness, I would to God I had never 
so displeased Thee ; I will never more return to 
the vomit of sin, but I will bethink me how I may 
please Thee. 

merciful Lord, Thou who madest Zacchaeus, 
of an usurer, to become a just man ; Thou that 
madest Matthew, of an extortioner, a contemner of 
the world ; be merciful unto me, who do desire 

A- o 

o o 


nothing more than truly to serve Thee, for the time 
to come. 

When the great Patriarch Abraham had obtain- 
ed the victory against his enemies, the jcing of 
Salem, whom we call Melchizedek, for a thanks- 
giving, offered bread and wine unto Abraham, and 
withal to refresh his soldiers. We have offered 
unto God in the celebration of the Lord's Supper, 
our souls and bodies as a reasonable sacrifice to 
serve Him ; here also we receive refreshing against 
our ghostly enemies. 

God taught His people to eat the figurative 
lamb in haste, and forthwith to get them out of 
Egypt; we ought by the figure to discern that 
which was figured, and without delay to get us 
from the Egypt of a sinful life. 

The Spouse saith, " I have put off my coat, how 
shall I put it on ? I have washed my feet, how 
shall I defile them?"* 

In the like manner may the faithful soul say, ' I 
have put off a sinful course of life, how shall I put 
it on again ? I have repented me of sins committed, 
how should I commit them again V 

Lord, grant me the assistance of Thy grace, 
that the rest of my life may be Pure and Holy, so 
that at the last I may come to Thine everlasting 
glory. Amen. 

* Canticles v. 3. 

o — 6 





FOR that this was a precept of the Church, as 
Origen and St. Jerome do testify, Uke as that 
was of forsaking temporal riches ; or temporary, 
or as fit for that age of the Church. 

2. For that it was agreeable to the small number 
of Christians ; so that this custom did by little and 
little decrease, as the number of Christians daily 

3. For that those times were times of persecu- 
tion, and therefore the Christians lived in a con- 
tinual farewell, as it were, from the world. 

4. For that the charity of those times far exceed- 
ed ours that now live ; to wit, love to God and 
m«n ; they would have lamented their estate, if 
that tlieir daily bread should have become a yearly 

5. For that they then had more feeling of the 
effects of this Holy Sacrament ; to wit, how it did 



o o 


minvcre sensum in minimis peccatis : and how it 
did tollere consensum in graviorihus, as St. Bernard 
speaketh, take away the sense in lesser sins, by 
not committing them at all, and take away consent 
in greater. 

6. For that the perfection of Christians in the 
primitive Church was far greater; and therefore 
assuredly the more often a Christian doth repair 
to the Holy Communion, the greater is his perfec- 
tion, and the nearer he doth come to the piety of 
the ancient Christians. 

O O 

o ■ o 



T HOPE, gentle reader, thou perceivest well, by 
-*- that which hath been formerly spoken, how 
much more excellent and profitable a thing it is, 
often to receive the most Blessed Body of Christ 
in the Eucharist, than to abstain from a meat so 
healthful and nourishing unto life. One thing yet 
remaineth, that thou, thoroughly regarding the un- 
speakable favour and bounty of so great a King, so 
cheerfully and so bountifully calling thee to His 
marriage feast, when He saith, " Take and eat, 
this is My Body," and again, " Do this in remem- 
brance of Me," shouldest therefore with all speed 
and often, repair unto this banquet, lest thou fall 
into the fault of ingratitude, and be shut out of the 
Kingdom of Heaven, (as those were, who are 
mentioned in the Gospel to have been bidden to the 

o a 

Q C) 


wedding dinner,) if thou absent thyself, thinking 
to excuse it. 

This is the marriage-feast of the King of Heav- 
en, the Banquet is Spiritual, Whose Bread doth 
strengthen man's heart, and Whose Wine doth in- 
flame the soul with Heavenly joy ; and the meat 
thereof is the flesh, of Christ, Who says, " My 
flesh is meat indeed." This is that healthful food 
of Angels sent down from Heaven, having in it all 
delight and savoury sweetness. This is that fat 
bread which giveth pleasures for a king. This is 
the most plentiful bread of good nourishment above 
all that the earth yieldeth. This is the bread of 
the offering of the first fruits. This is the bread 
signified as well in the cakes which Abraham did 
set before the angels, as also in the shew-bread ; 
and this was likewise decyphered in the bread 
and wine which Melchizedek brought forth. Last- 
ly, this is that bread baked upon the coals, in the 
strength whereof Elias did walk forty days and 
forty nights, unto Horeb, the mount of God. This 
is that tree of life, planted by Almighty God in the 
midst of the earthly paradise, whose fruit being 
eaten, would preserve bodily life. This is that 
Paschal Lamb without spot, by Whose blood stroken 
upon the two posts, and the door cheeks, the 
children of Israel were in times past delivered from 
the hand of the angel that smote the Egyptians. 
This is that kind which Manoah offered unto the 



o— o 


Lord upon a stone. This is also that honeycomb 
which Jonathan, clipping the tip of his rod therein, 
did put to his mouth, and his eyes were enlighten- 
ed. This is also that large flowing stream of wa- 
ter, which suddenly issued out of the rock, after 
that Moses had stricken it with his rod. 

Come freely, therefore, to this most sweet Ban- 
quet of Christ Jesus, wherein is promised unto 
thee most assured life and salvation. For if the 
garments of Christ, and if napkins and partlets 
brought from Paul did even with the least touch 
thereof give health, how much more then shall the 
very Body of Christ, being worthily received, de- 
liver thee from all thine infirmities and wicked af- 
fection ! If at Christ's only word Lazarus, having 
been four days in the grave, was raised up from 
the dead, how much more shall Christ's Body, be- 
ing eaten of thee, give life unto thee, and purge thy 
conscience, quickening thee from the death of sin ! 
Oh therefore, faithful soul, if thou be unclean, 
come to the fountain of purity; if thou be hungry, 
come and feed of the bread of life which fadeth 
not, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. 
Art thou sick ? this will be a most sovereign med- 
icine for thine infirmity. Hast thou an issue 
whereof thou canst not be cured by the physicians? 
touch thou, in the full assurance of faith, (as did 
the woman in the Gospel, sick of the flux of blood,) 
the hem of Christ's garment, even the most blessed 
O O 

o o 


Sacrament, and thine issue shall be stayed. If 
thou feel thyself to be stung by the serpents of 
perverse temptations, look upon that brazen ser- 
pent in which there was no poison, even Christ 
hanging upon the Cross. Dost thou make thy 
moan that thou art blind, weak, and lame ? thou 
must then remember, that such are bidden to the 
supper of the great King, and are compelled to go 
in. But thou wilt say, I am wavering, alas ! and 
inconstant ; yea, but this Bread doth strengthen 
the heart of man. Art thou sorrowful and in per- 
plexity ? this Wine doth make joyful the inward 
man. Do many things trouble thee ? cleave fast 
to Him Who calmed the waves of the sea when 
they were troubled. Goest thou astray from thy 
Lord and Master 1 yet mayest thou walk in the 
strength of this meat, even to the Mount of God. 

These wonderful things doth the Holy Ghost 
in the Scriptures, and the Holy Ones of God, be- 
ing inspired by the Holy Ghost, speak of this ad- 
mirable Sacrament, whereof St. Cyprian in his 
Sermon of the Lord's Supper, most learnedly and 
religiously writeth : This unleavened bread which 
is the true and sincere meat, doth by the Sacrament 
sanctify us, by the receiving of it, it doth enlighten 
us with faith, and confirmeth us with truth towards 
Christ. Therefore, let all those who love the 
Lord's Passion come unto this most wholesome 
Bread, and let them not fear to eat of this most 
O C 



sweet Manna so often as they can, whereby they 
may be made able to pass through the wilderness 
of this world without danger of their life. Let 
him not fear to eat of this healthful bread, whoso- 
ever desireth to have his heart made strong in the 
Lord, that he may overcome all those most wicked 
enemies, the devils, which daily lie in wait to hin- 
der our salvation. Let no man make doubt, so 
often as possibly he can, to eat this most sweet, 
delightful, comfortable Bread, which was made in 
the womb of the Virgin, and baked upon the Altar 
of the Cross, in the strength whereof we shall be 
made able, in forty days and forty nights, (that is 
to say, in the short time of this transitory life,) to 
walk not only to Mount Horeb, which signifieth a 
desert, but even to Mount Tabor, which is the 
brightness and glory of God. 

0-— O 





CONSIDERING our great necessity. 
2. The great profit that doth hereby come 
unto us. 

3. The admirable satiety it yieldeth unto the 
distressed soul. 

4. For that it inciteth to the study of piety. 

5. For that it enlighteneth the understanding. 

6. For that it addeth strength to our weakness. 

7. For that it maketh glad the conscience. 

8. For that it is our viaticum, our refreshing to- 
wards the end of our journey. 


1. The eternal love wherewith God the Father 
loved us when as yet we were not, and provided 
all things necessary for us. 



o — o 


2. The inestimable love of God the Son, who 
gave Himself for us. 

3* The unsearchable love of God the Holy- 
Ghost, that every moment doth preserve us. 



1. That we call to mind, that as Almighty God 
appeared to Moses in the burning bush, so doth 
He also to them whose hearts are inflamed with 
the love of Him. 

2. That if in the law so many purifications were 
used, then, in purifying our hearts under grace, 
much more is required. 

3. That if Solomon took such care to build a 
temple for the ark of the Lord, what care ought 
there to be for the Lord, Himself the ark 1 

4. That the four questions proposed unto Jonah,* 
— the first qnod opus liiiim ? " what is thy work 
or trade ?" the second, quce terra, lua ? " what is 
thy country?" the third, quo vadls ? "whither 
goest thou ? " the fourth, quis populus tuus ? 
" what is thy people, or with whom livest thou?'' 
— that these questions, I say, proposed to Jonah, 
every devout Communicant ought to propose unto 
himself, as thus : — 

• Jonah i. 8. 

o o 

o ^o 


What is thy work? to do the will of God, or 
thine own will ? What makest thou thy country ? 
Heaven or earth ? Whither goest thou ? after 
God, or after the world 1 What is thy people ? 
with whom conversest thou ? are they good or 
evil men ? 


1. To be careful not to receive the grace of God 
in vain.* 

2. To resign or consecrate the rest of our life 
to serve God, according to that rule of the Apostle, 
" As you have yielded your members servants of 
unrighteousness unto sin, even so now yield your 
members servants unto righteousness."! 

3. That thou weigh with thyself the reasons 
why thy life is to be dedicated unto God, of Whom 
thou hast received a life of nature, a life of grace, 
and an assured hope of a life of glory in the world 
to come. 

* 2 Corinthians vi. 1. t Romans vi. 19 





/^ ONSIDER with what honour thou art prose- 
^^ cuted by receiving this Holy Pledge, in re- 
gard whereof all earthly honours are to be con- 

2. Consider, whilst thou dost Communicate, 
thou art become a Temple of the Holy Ghost, and 
that if Solomon so much rejoiced when he saw 
the building of the temple finished, which was 
but a material temple, hast thou not cause much 
more to rejoice in this Temple which is Spiritual ? 
In this temple thou oughtest often to praise God, 
and, casting out evil thoughts, say. This my soul 
is now become a house of prayer. 

3. Consider, that thou by often receiving dost 
become a living sepulchre of Christ : think if thou 
hadst been present when He was taken down from 
the Cross, and believing He was thy Saviour, 
surely thou wouldest have been glad to receive His 
blessed Body into thine house. 



o o 


lord's prayer, which prayer IS WONT TO BE 

Otir Father. 
my Father, what wilt thou ? I ask of Thee, 
being an evil son. Behold, I ask of Thee the 
Spirit of Thy Son, that, without servile fear, and 
with much confidence, I may receive Thee, to the 
unspeakable comfort of my soul. 

Which art in Heaven. 

Lord, give me a taste of that felicity which all 
Thy saints enjoy with Thee in Heaven, that from 
henceforth I savour not earthly things, but Hea- 
venly or things on high. 

Hallowed be Thy name. 

Give me grace, that for this benefit I may give 
Thee laud and praise, and sanctify Thy name. 
Grant that in all my actions, I may seek, not mine 
own, but Thy glory. 

Thy kingdom come. 
Evermore reign in my heart, which I do offer 
unto Thee for a gift ; let not sin, let not the flesh, 
let not the dominion of Satan, rule there, but Thy 
grace only. 

o o 



Thy will he done in Earth, as it is in Heaven. 

Teach me to do Thy will, readily, willingly, joy- 
fully, as Thy Saints do the same will of Thine in 

Give us this day our daily bread, 

I beseech thee, O Lord, to me grant an ardent 
desire towards this Holy Sacrament, the true bread 
of Angels. 

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that 
trespass against us. 

Give me remission of all my sins past, a hatred 
of the same, and a readiness for the love of Thee 
for the time to come. 

And lead us not into temptation. 

Give me grace to withstand the temptations of 
my ghostly enemy, and both in adversity and pros- 
perity evermore keep constancy of mind, that mine 
enemies prevail not against me. 

But deliver us from evil. 

Deliver us from all our sins, that we may be 
presented unto Thee, and unto Thy service. 

o o 

o- -n 


For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, 
for ever and ever. Ameii. 

Thou, O Lord, art worthy to receive honour, 
and praise, and dominion for evermore.* 


Concerning the sin of relapsing or falling away 
from a good and Godly course of life, we are first 
to consider, that he who doth truly repent doth so 
bewail his evils passed, that he doth fully purpose 
not to commit them again ; and that a vain repent- 
ance is that, saith St. Augustine, which the same 
fault following doth defile. The lamentations for 
former sins are not effectual, if the same sins are 
iterated. Wilt thou be a true penitent ? then cease 
from sin ; take heed thou say not, I cannot ab- 
stain from sin : " God is faithful, Who will not suf- 
fer us to be tempted above that we are able."t Non 
posse pretenditur, non velle in causa est, " We are 
not able to resist sin is pretended, we are not wil- 
ling is the cause." So saith St. Augustine. 

Secondly, we are to consider that the svun and 
complement of all virtue doth consist in persever- 

* Revelations iv. 11. t 1 Corinthians x. 13. 

' — .?— ^ o 

C c 


ance ; not he that runneth, but he that runneth un- 
to the end, attaineth the prize.* 

Thirdly, let us call to mind by Whose instinct 
and motion we began this good work, and that the 
end thereof was to serve Him. 

Fourthly, who it is that would have us leave it 
off, to wit, the professed enemy of our souls. 

Fifthly, that evil men do often persevere in evil, 
how much more should Ave persevere in good ! 

Sixthly, that for want of perseverance, an Angel 
lost Heaven, Adam lost paradise. 

Seventhly, or last of all, by perseverance we 
come to Blessedness. " Blessed is he that con- 
tinueth to the end, he shall be saved."! 


O Lord Jesus Christ, our most perseverant love. 
Thou who always lovest Thine unto the end. Thou 
hanging upon the Cross didst say, " It is finished," 
thereby giving us a most excellent example of 
perseverance, make us, Lord, in the service we 
have undertaken to serve Thee, that we may say 
virith Thine Apostle, " We have kept the Faith ;" 
and with holy Job, " V\^e will not depart from inno- 
cency whilst we live ;" and with David, " Thou, 
O Lord, hast kept us from our youth up, forsake us 
not in our age," but, good Lord, continue with us 
unto the end, and at the end. Amen. 

* I Corinthians ix. 24. t Matthew xxiv. 13. 

o — — 





1. Purity of 3Iind. 

1. That thou be sorry for sins past, and intend 
to abstain from such and such sins hereafter. 

2. That thou lay aside all haired, for it is a Sa- 
crament of love. 

3. That thou remember Who hath said it, " Be 
ye holy, asj am holy."* 

2. A right intention that thou communicate. 

1. Not of custom only. 

2. Not to please men. 

3. Not to appear outwardly Holy. 

3. Actual devotion. 

1. That thou endeavour to pray unto God with- 
out distraction. 

2. That thou be spiritually affected towards 
Christ's Holy Institution. 

* Leviticus xix. 2. 


O 3 


3. That thou come with all humility and devout 

After receiving the Holy Communion. 

1. Give thanks to Christ, that He hath vouch- 
safed to come under thy roof. 

2. Be careful more and more to w^orship Him. 

3. Beseech Him never to depart from thee, pray 
Him to continue with thee always, even unto the 
end. So be it. 

O O 





WHEREAS every question, in a case of faith, 
Godly and devout reader, ought to stand 
forth at the tribunal of Holy writ, and there to be 
judged : let it not seem strange unto any, if as 
once St. Paul appealed unto Caesar, so we by a 
course allowable in law, do (evermore due respect 
had unto the authority of the ancient Fathers) in 
the first place, and that by good right, make our 
appeals in cases of controversy unto the Holy 
Scriptures. For why ? In these we not only find 
the truth safe and sound, notwithstanding all the 
devices of evil men endeavouring to corrupt the 
same, yet ever the same, and so confirmed by the 
consent of the Church, but also the means of 
seeking out the same truth ; which, if we follow 
as the best guide, we cannot slip, err, or be de- 






2. Now the means of seeking out the truth may- 
seem by that of the Prophet Jeremiah, or by Him 
in Whom the prophet spake, to be thus laid forth : 
" Ask or inquire for the old way, it is the good 
way, walk in it."* Our Lord and Saviour in the 
Gospel, in His reply to the Pharisees tempting 
Him, Why did Moses give them a bill of divorce ? 
answereth, " Moses did it for the hardness of your 
hearts, but from the beginning it was not so."t — 
Whence it appeareth, that by the old way we come 
unto the good way, by observing the first institu- 
tion we find out the true institution ; all that are in 
doubt, all that err, may by this means more easily 
come to attain and enjoy the same. When Al- 
mighty God promised unto the people of Israel, by 
the before-named Moses, a form of framing the 
tabernacle and the appurtenances thereof, " Look," 
saith He unto them, " that thou make it after the 
fashion that was shewed thee in the mountain."| 
The Prophet Isaiah, to withdraw the people from 
their diviners and soothsayers, cries out, "To the 
law and the testimony." ii When Christ casteth 
buyers and sellers out of the temple,^ He citeth 
the Prophet Jeremiah, " My house is the house of 
prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves."*|[ 
The Apostle St. Paul, setting down unto them the 
true manner of celebrating the Lord's Supper, 

* Jeremiah vi. 16. 1 Matthew xix. 7, 8. t Exodus xxv. 40. 
II Isaiah viii. 20. i) Luke xix. 45. T Jeremiah vii 11. 




saith, " For I have received of the Lord that which 
also I have delivered unto you."* If at any time 
the Fathers were in doubt concerning points ap- 
pertaining to faith, by and by they repaired to the 
oracle of the Scripture ; so St. Ambrose, " Let the 
Scripture be asked :" so St. Augustine, " Let us 
ask St. Peter and St. Paul." 

By this we see the means of seeking out the 
the truth ; which is, how that the Fathers look 
back to the Apostles, the Apostles to Christ, Christ 
to the Prophets, the Prophets to the Law, the liaw 
to the first pattern upon the mount. 

3. Now of long time, yea, too, too long, O Holy 
Christ, have we Christians contended about Thy 
Holy Institution ; from the Fathers to Thy Apos- 
tles ; yea, O blessed Saviour, we come with all 
reverence, and let us come hand in hand, to con- 
sider the first pattern instituted by Thyself.f — 
And here first, let the devout Christian call to 
mind, that He that said of the wine, " This is My 
Blood," and of the bread, " This is My Body," 
said also of St. John the Baptist, " This is that 
Elias," and of Himself, " I am the door," " the 
true vine," &c. These — " Receive my covenant in 
your flesh;" "By Baptism we are buried with Him;" 
" Being many, we are one bread, one body ;" — are 
usual phrases in Holy writ. 

4. Again, what more meet, than in a spiritual food 

* 1 Cqr. xi. 23. t Matt. xxvi. 17. Mark xiv. 12. Luke xxii. 11. 

O— = o 



to admit a spiritual sense ? " We did all eat of the 
same spiritual meat," saith the Apostle.* Was it 
not given after supper, and in small quantity ? It 
is the Spirit that giveth life. I go forward, but 
by the way, this pious consideration, gathered out 
of the words of Christ our Saviour, concerning His 
own institution, doth easily show that to be the 
nourishment of our souls which is delivered in the 
Lord's Supper, and doth withal manifest the great 
excellency thereof. 

From the words of Christ, I come unto the 
Apostle St. Paul, a good interpreter of the same 
words, one who wanted not care of stirring up the 
Corinthians to reverence and devotion about this 
Mystery. Now, what saith the Apostle ? He 
commands no adoration ; he speaks not a word of 
transubstantiation ; but only showeth the dignity 
thereof, in showing both the author and the end. 

5. Let us proceed to the orthodox Fathers, that 
it may appear. Reverend Sir, that we neither, upon 
a desire of contradiction, nor upon hatred to any, 
do embrace an opinion newly broached ; but look, 
what we think, believe, and confess, in this main 
point of Christian Doctrine, the same also the an- 
cient Church hath thought, believed, and, with one 
consent, taught. And herein we take no little com- 
fort, that although our faith doth principally rest 
on the word of God, rightly understood, yet it can- 

* 1 Corinthians x. 3. 


o ^ o 


not choose but yield us joy, with the orthodox 
Fathers, holding rightly, we hold also that which is 
right. We acknowledge that of Dionysius, the 
Areopagite, (neither do I see why we should fear 
in this case either the author or the authority,) in 
that, in his Divine hierarchy, he calleth the Eu- 
charist a most Divine Sacrament; that of Justin 
Martyr, where he saith, " We receive not those 
elements as common bread nor common drink ;" 
that of TertuUian against the Marcionites, " The 
bread which he took and distributed Christ made 
His Body ;" that of Origen, upon divers places of 
the Gospel, " When thou eatest and drinkest the 
Body and Blood of the Lord, the Lord entereth 
under thy roof;" that of St. Cyprian, " As in the 
person of Christ the humanity appeared, but the 
divinity was hid ; so in the visible Sacrament a 
Divine essence communicates itself unto us ;" that 
of Hilary, speaking of the Trinity, " Of the verity 
of the Body and Blood of Christ there is left no 
place of doubt :" that of St. Ambrose, de mysteriis 
iniliandis, " We have more excellent food in the 
Eucharist than the Jews had in the manna ;" that 
of St. Jerome, in his Epistle to Hedebia, " Here 
the Lord Jesus (meaning in the Sacrament) is both 
the Maker of the feast and the Food ;" last of all, 
instead of many, that of St. Augustine, " O with 
what purity of mind, with what chastity of body, 

c- o 



is that sacrifice to be celebrated, where Thou, O 
Lord, art both the Priest and the Sacrifice !" 

7. But to break off the mentioning of the Fath- 
ers, lest in multiplying their names we might seem 
ambitious, we hear them all, as it is meet, speaking 
with great reverence of so great a Mystery ; but 
for disputing or reasoning about transubstantiation, 
we hear not a word. Let their writings be read 
over, and read over again, and we shall find that 
they admit of a change, but what a one? of the 
substance '? nothing less : for it remains the same : 
of the use ? it is right, for sure in the Lord's Sup- 
per it is Heavenly and Divine. 

8. Whereas, oftentimes in the Fathers, we meet 
with the words, " nature," " substance," applying 
them to the efficacy of the Sacrament, we are to 
understand that by these words they intended, first, 
to draw the people from the outward signs to the 
substance, and next, to kindle in their affections 
both reverence and love. 

9. Antiquity, therefore, is silent in the plea or 
the defence of transubstantiation. Sure, yea most 
sure, it is, that the figurative speeches of the an- 
cient Fathers do no way patronize this paradox. 
The sobriety of the same Fathers, let us, their 
posterity, praise and imitate. 

10. And now that we may ingeniously confess 
that which is a plain case in the sight of God, and 
not flourish over the truth, with colours of rhetoric, 

6 6 

— — O 


or smother it with the clouds of deceit, we ac- 
knowledge that the dignity of this Sacrament is 
greater than words can express, yea, than the mind 
of man is able to conceive. If any will exact the 
efficacy of those five words, " For this is My 
Body," we answer, it is a great Mystery. 

11. Truly we give, and that justly, great respect 
and reverence to the Holy Eucharist ; for whereas 
bread and wine are elements naturally ordained 
for the sustenance of the body, by the power of 
Divine Benediction, they do receive a virtue that, 
being received of the faithful, they become nour- 
ishment of the soul, nay, they become means 
whereby we are sanctified both in body and soul, 
and are made the members of Christ. 

12. But Christ, some say, in express words call- 
eth the bread His Body, and the wine His Blood; 
true, in express words also He calleth Himself a 
Rock. Right well saith Eusebius Emisenus, 
" Comest thou to the Sacrament, consider there 
the Body and Blood of Christ : wonder at it with 
reverence, touch it with thy mind, receive it with 
the hand of thy heart ; do not say as the Caper- 
naites, "Master, how camest thou hither!" but, 
with the disciples, asking no question, be glad thou 
dost enjoy Him. He is honoured in this Myste- 
ry, that was once offered upon the Cross. Yea, 
but how can this be, that Christ, sitting at the right 
hand of God in Heaven, should dispose of His 

o o 

o O 


Body to us poor inhabitants of earth ? Take here 
the answer of the Angel Gabriel, the Holy Ghost 
hath overshadowed it. " From hence," saith St. 
Bernard, " to search is temerity, to know is life 

13. Is it not a hard saying, " Unless ye eat the 
Flesh of the Son of God," &c. ? It is a hard say- 
ing to them that are hard of believing. The dis- 
ciples hearing that of their Lord and Master, 
" Take, eat, this is My Body," they take, they 
eat, asking no question. " Being confirmed in 
faith," saith St. Chrysostom, " they take and eat ; 
unbelievers hearing the same of our Saviour, they 
depart, they eat not." Peter ansvvereth, " Lord, 
Thou hast the words of life ;" others go backward, 
leaving the Lord of life. The Capernaite, hear- 
ing, dreameth of eating naturally, grossly ; the 
Godly are assured of eating Spiritually, and yet 
withal really. 

14. Great was the authority of Pythagoras 
amongst his scholars ; if he said it, they were si- 
lent ; but greater was, and is, and ought to be, the 
authority of Christ with believers ; He saith it, and 
they believe. The sun remains a splendent body, 
though bats and owls cannot endure it ; the Holy 
Sacrament remains an unspeakable Mystery, 
though the carnal man doth not perceive it. In 
this case, silence is the safest eloquence, and the 
best expressing is not to express. A Godly med- 

C : 

g 3 


itation is safer than a Socratical disputing. Dis- 
course of controversy doth often abate devotion : 
discourse of piety about this Mystery is sweeter 
than the honey or the honey-comb. 

15. The Passover, which Christ kept w^ith His 
Disciples, was prepared in an upper room. When 
men brought unto Him a man sick of the palsy, 
they, in letting down the sick, uncovered the roof 
of the house. The harder parts of the Paschal 
Lamb were consumed by fire. Mysteries are, if 
not contrary, yet often above reason. Well saith 
St. Cyril, in his third book against Julian, " If hu- 
man reason waver in things sensible, how much 
more shall it do so in things beyond sense? Faith- 
less Julian, what if the creation of the Angels 
excel human capacity, did not Moses well in for- 
bearing to mention it ? Assuredly he did well. 
What if it cannot by reason be conceived how 
Christ, sitting at the table, should give Himself to 
His, for sustenance, wilt thou, therefore, by and 
by, imagine this or that change ?" 

Let us rather honour Christ in His Mysteries, 
praise Him for His mercies, be thankful unto Him 
for His benefits. Those things which we com- 
prehend, let us admire ; those which we cannot 
comprehend, let us more admire : though words be 
wanting what to express, let not faith be wanting 
what to believe. 

16. When all is done, the devout estimation of 

o— — — O 

Q O 


the ancient Fathers, concerning this Holy Sacra- 
ment, is not lightly or loosely to be passed over, 
whose example for piety let us set before the eyes 
of our mind. 

17. Notwithstanding, we look not so much in 
this case what the Fathers, who Avere no babes, 
for the first six hundred years, have determined, 
as what Christ saith, who is before all. But be it, 
let antiquity prevail, which way soever men turn 
them for these curious and needless disputes, sure 
they were not from the beginning. 

18. And now a little to take a survey of the begin- 
ning and progress of the doctrine of Jransubstantia- 
tion, when now the envious man watched to sow 
his tares amongst the wheat, which is of grains the 
chiefest ; to corrupt gold, which is of metals the 
purest ; to draw away the minds of men from the 
pledges of their salvation, amongst which the Holy 
Eucharist is not the least ; this He did not so 
much by opposition, as by subtle guile, stirring up 
curious lancies to seek and search out reasons of 
the secret counsel of God, and to say with them 
in the Gospel,- "Master, how camest Thou 

19. One Bcrengarius, in the year 1028, was the 
first that came upon the stage to act this tragedy, 
by him were kindled such sparks as after brake out 
into great and fearful flames. The matter is toss- 

* 1 John vi. 2.5. 

G ■ O 



ed to and fro in the time of Nicholas, the second 
Bishop of Rome. In the year 1040 Berengarius 
abjured his former assertions ; Avere his latter 
thoughts the wiser ? This I stand not to discuss, 
dispute it he that will. 

20. The Church in the meanwhile, who ought 
to have followed the counsel of St. Paul to Timo- 
thy, in suppressing questions that cause strife, 
did clean contrary in adding more and more daily 
a multitude of questions, so long that those sparks 
kindled by Berengarius began to increase, and set 
all, as it were, into a most hideous combustion. 

21. An assembly of religious men came together 
in the council of Lateran ; in this rueful state of 
things wh^t is done by the council? Doth it ap- 
pease debates ? No. Doth it call back this Holy 
institution of Christ to the ancient practice ? It 
endeavoured nothing less ; only it promulgates a 
new and unheard-of doctrine of transubstantiation : 
and why might not the council establish the word 
transubstantiation as well as the first council of 
Nice did the word ou.oouj-i9i;, the first council of 
Ephesus the word dsorUoi, which both were es- 
tablished by councils, and after received by the 
Christian world? There was neither the same 
authority to decree, nor the necessity of doctrine 
to be decreed, in this, as was in the two before- 
named councils : what did not time decay ? (Btas 
parentum, etc. 

o c 

o o 


22. After this the question comes to be handled 
by the master of the sentences, whom the school 
divines do follow ; is the controversy appeased ? 
Disputed it is to and fro by many subtleties ; here 
the multitude of questions is able to confound the 
reader, and the divers turnings and windings able 
to bring the happiest wit into a labyrinth. At one 
time the doubt is about the power of God, at another 
about His will ; now, of the existing of substance 
with accidents, then, of accidents without a sub- 
stance, sometimes of annihilating of former natures, 
sometimes of trans-elementing the same. In this 
chaos there is nothing found certain, save that 
uncertain dream of transubstantiation. 

23. Whether or no this were pleasing to that 
Blessed Spirit, who willeth us to be wise unto so- 
briety, let all men judge. 

24. The Bethshemites* were happy in enjoying 
the presence of the ark of God ; but falling to be 
curious by prying into it, they suffered just punish- 
ment for their curiosity. The Church of Rome 
was happy while it enjoyed the presence of this 
Holy Mystery, had she known her own happiness, 
when, for a thousand years together, there was 
never heard of the name of " ubiquity," " sacra- 
mentary," or the like ; no division of the East 
against the West Church, or of the West against 
the East ; all agreed about the truth of this Holy 

* 1 Samuel vi. 19. 

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9 9 


Mystery; but when* once men would press into 
depths inaccessible, rend away the veil, and intrude 
themselves into the Hx)ly of Holies, good Lord, 
with what a spirit of giddiness were they whirled 
to and fro, as he of whom the comical poet maketh 
mention, which way to betake him he knew not. 
This it is to rim into needless mazes. 

25. To get credit to this new found doctrine be- 
fore mentioned, miracles are reported; but what 
ones, I pray you ? Not those of St. Cyprian, or 
Nazianzene, or Optatus Meluitanus, or even of 
Surius himself, which were to set forth the dignity 
of this Sacrament. This had been tolerable, and 
not mentioned of the Fathers without cause. But 
miracles, I say, are reported, or rather indeed 
feigned, to confirm men, yea, to seduce men, were 
they over credulous, by this means, in this doc- 
trine of transubstantiation, which was no way al- 
lowable ; for God stands not in need of these. 

26. To conclude the whole proceedings and 
tumultuous differences raised concerning the ques- 
tion of the Holy Eucharist, in brief, let this suffice ; 
men observing no mean, about the mean and man- 
ner of Christ's Presence in the Sacrament, that 
they have done much hurt by their boldness and 
curiosity, it appears more clearly than noon light. 

27. In this mean space all things now tossed 
and turmoiled, there arise, upon the contrary part, 
a kind of men prone and apt, not so much to the 

o ^, 



alteration, as indeed to the utter ruinating of things ; 
into which kind of men it were to be wished that 
the commonwealth, yea, the Church of Christ, had 
never fallen ; men that have not any thing of true 
religion, but only a bare outward show ; men that 
are wont to account it great piety to censure others, 
to be impious, these are those that, under a pretence 
of avoiding superstition, will observe in a manner 
no pious duties of true religion, and, especially in 
celebrating the Lord's Supper after a rude and un- 
mannerly manner, they neglect all devotion. Is 
the Communion celebrated well ? A badge it is 
of our profession, a familiar assembly of guests, 
a remembrance of somewhat passed : Take ye, 
eat ye, stand ye, there is no other gesture required 
than what is used at public meetings ; what need 
any mention of the Body of Christ, which was 
broken and given for us, of the Blood of Christ, 
which was shed for us ? Take ye, eat ye, drink 
ye ; — O blessed Paul, if thou didst live, thou 
wouldest tell these men, they ought, upon fear of 
judgment, to discern the Lord's Body. 

28. Was there a punishment inflicted upon him 
that would make the Law of Moses of none eflect, 
and shall he go without punishment that would 
make this Divine Institution of the Son of God of 
none eftect ? The irreligious opinion of these 
men, with whom nothing is true but in opinions, 
whom nothing can please but their own fantasies, 




with whom nothing is sound but in show, the asser- 
tions, yea, the worst of these men's assertions, 
our adversaries of the Church of Rome do often, 
but unjustly, term our axioms, or principal points 
of our religion. Whatsoever any bold spirited 
man, whatsoever any unlearned, whatsoever any 
less godly, shall set abroach, either against faith 
or good manners, appertaining to the Holy Sacra- 
ment, we straight are censured and condemned, 
without all Christian charity, of heresy, and as the 
authors and defenders of such impieties. 

29. Wherefore, they are in this case to be re- 
quested, that at least they would see and consider 
our reverent respect had towards this Holy Mys- 
tery, agreeable to antiquity. We do confess, with 
all good conscience, that the worthiness of this 
Sacrament is greater than either the force of any 
man's wit, or copiousness of his eloquence, is able 
to express or conceive. 

30. And here we cannot but marvel, and desire 
to marvel, that Cardinal Bellarmine doth so lightly 
pass over the words of Calvin, mentioned by him, 
as it were by chance ; " I am not ashamed," saith 
the same Calvin, " to acknowledge mine ignorance 
in this Mystery." 

31. Well saith Fulgentius, against the Arians, 
" True faith hath never superfluous, but it ever 
had and hath, just reasons." So also St. Cyril's 

c — 6 

Q Q 


mysteries are offered to believers, not to question- 

32. Albeit, then the manner be not of us over 
curiously inquired or searched after, yet the same 
Presence of Christ is acknowledged which Christ 
Himself would have to be acknowledged. We 
say with St. Ambrose, that there is not taken from 
bread the substance thereof, but that there is adjoin- 
ed the grace of Christ's Body after a manner ineffa- 

33. It was no other but a shadow of this benefit 
that was of old given to the Jews in the ark of the 
covenant, and yet Solomon did so admire it, as that 
he said, " And is it incredible that God should 
dwell with men ?"* 

34. We often marvel and condemn the Jews, 
that, having Christ amongst them, they did not ac- 
knowledge and receive Him in that manner they 
ought to have done. Let us consider Christ 
among us, and invert that saying of the husband- 
men, " This is the Heir," let us take Him, receive 
Him, believe in Him, " and the Inheritance shall 
be ours." 

35. Last of all, concerning the controversy 
about the Holy Eucharist, between two extremes, 
whereof we have heard, let us embrace the means, 
let us, with a sincere faith, apprehend the truth, 

* 1 Kings viii. 27. 

6 — — o 

c- < 


apprehending, let us keep it, keeping, let us adore 
it with godly manners. 

36. And now to draw in, as it were, the sails of 
this admonition, godly reader, seeing that this Di- 
vine Institution was left by our gracious Redeemer, 
both for the inward peace of the soul, and outward 
of the Church, who can sufficiently lament to see 
the dissention that hath miserably divided the 
Christian world, and discord that hath arisen about 
the same ! Let us call to mind, that God is not the 
God of dissention, but the God of peace. Let us 
all forbear on both sides needless and unprofitable 
disputes. Unless Thou, Lord, hadst said it, — 
" This is My Body, This is My Blood," who would 
have believed it ? Unless Thou hadst said, O Holy 
Christ, " Take, eat, drink ye all of this," who durst 
have touched it ? Who would have approached 
to so Heavenly a repast, hadst Thou not com- 
manded it, hocfacite, " do ye this ;" but Thou com- 
manding, who would not joyfully come and Com- 
municate ? 

37. Then let us hold captive human reason, 
and prepare ourselves unto the fruit of this Heav- 
enly Manna. Unnecessary disputes bring small 
profits, we may with greater benefit wonder than 
argue. Then are the works of God most truly 
conceived, when they are devoutly admired. 


Q O 



1. God, of His mercy grant, that this excellent 
league of love and charity, left by the Saviour of 
the world to His Church, and commended unto us 
by the love of Him Who loved us, God grant, I 
say, that, all contentions laid asleep, we may on 
all parts accord about this league of love, and let 
men and Angels say, Amen. 

2. Great differences, acute disputes, have long 
since been had ; in the mean space, merciful Lord, 
what barrenness of piety is there found ? Many 
are become weary with striving, some even with 
looking on and beholding them that strive, a third 
sort in hearing and reading distractions on divers 
parts ; most, which is to be lamented, are slow and 
frozen in piety. 

3. The question about the Sacrament hath now 
many years been controversed in the Church. — 
The authors of sects and heresies, as the Anabap- 
tists, and Arians, and such like, they are neither 
orthodox all, nor of this house with us ; but this 
unnatural strife is domestic, which God cease. 

4. Now whereas we see no end of contending, 
and small hope in regard of men, of ever seeing an 
end to contention, let us jointly beseech our Hea- 
venly Father, that in seeking peace we may go 

G ' —6 

o -o 


one before another, that all being careful to attain 
Christian unity, and careful of our own salvation, 
we may glorify our Father in Heaven. 

5. Let the last necessity find us ready, which 
will surprise them that are unready. Let our un- 
certain end strike into us a certain foresight of our 
end, which, according to the Wise Man, we should 
remember, and let enmity pass. Future blessed- 
ness, attained it may be : for the excellency there- 
of, rightly conceived, it cannot be. In seeking so 
great a good, the best mean is to observe no mean. 

6. To draw to an end, although in regard of the 
continuance of the before-named blessedness there 
be no end, let us every one dispose himself unto 
that day which doth assign to every one his eter- 
nal mansion, where there shall be no more night, 
where there shall need no light of the candle, nay 
of the sun, where the " Lamb is the light"* in 
that blessed vision of the Lord Jesus ; unto which 
let us, according to the counsel of the Holy Ghost, 
proceed by one rule, " Glory to God in the high- 
est, on earth peace, and towards man good-will." f 

* Revelation xxi. 23. t Luke ii. 14. 

o- o 





AS there is no one thing that more appertaineth 
unto onr salvation than the Passion of Christ 
our Redeemer, nor any benefit for which we ought 
more to give thanks, so there is no subject more 
worthy of our best and best disposed meditations 
to speak of, to confer of, to remember, to meditate 
of, more consolatory than is the subject of our Sa- 
viour Christ's Blessed Passion. 

Again, we ought more to give thanks to God for 
our redemption than for our creation, for these 
causes : — 

The first is, if man be obliged or bound to God, 
for that of nothing, by His very word he was cre- 
ated ; now by sin to be made less than nothing, 
and then to be remade, is much more. 

The second is, for that God shewed more love 


Q Q 


by redeeming man than by creating him ; for, be- 
fore he was created, man did nothing whereby he 
deserved to be created, but after he was created 
he sinned, and deserved that his first being should 
be destroyed ; wherefore, far greater was the be- 
nignity and mercy of God in redeeming man than 
in creating him. 

The third is, that the benefit of creation had not 
profited man, without the benefit of his redemption. 

The fourth is, that in the creation God gave man 
Himself; but in the redemption God gave Himself 
for man. 

The fifth is, that it was a great thing that we 
were His work, but a greater is it in that we are 
His price. 

Wherefore the devout Christian ought often by 
contemplation to look up to Christ crucified, espe- 
cially having a remorse for his sins, as the people 
did in the wilderness look up to the serpent that 
was lifted up, when they were stung by serpents. 


The first is, to receive curing and comfort, " In 
all my afllictions," saith St. Augustin, " I find not 
any more eftectual remedy than the wounds of 
Christ, in which I securely sleep." " Nay, this 
meditation doth make afl^ictions sweet," saith St. 
Gregory, *' as the wood did that sweetened the bit- 
ter waters." 
; __: Q 

o o 


The second is, it incites to all virtues, and is a 
remedy against all vices ; it incites to humility, 
patience, prayer, and such like ; it averts the mind 
from all vices, Quando occurrit tiirpis cogifatio, 
fugio ad vulnera Christi, saith St. Bernard ; nay, 
quando dcemon insidiatur, fugio ad vulnera Christi, 
et fugit a me tentator. When any evil thought 
assaults me, I fly to the wounds of Christ; when 
the tempter doth assault, I fly to these wounds of 
Christ and the tempter flies from me. 

The third is, it stirreth men up to praise God, as 
the people did when they were delivered in the 
Red sea ; if we have any thankfulness this should 
move us to thankfulness. 


Soul. — Lord, wherefore didst Thou sufier Thy- 
self to be sold 1 

Christ. — That I might deliver thee from servi- 

Lord, why didst thou pray so much 1 
That I might appease God's wrath against thee. 
Lord, why didst Thou suffer fear and trembling ? 
That I might make thee secure, and of good cour- 
Lord, why were deceits intended against Thee ? 
To deliver thee from deceits. 

o — o 

0— Q 


Wherefore didst thou sweat blood 1 

To wash away the spots of thy sin. 

Why wouldest Thou be taken ? 

That thou mightest not be taken of thy ghostly en- 

Why wouldest Thou be bound ? 

To loose the bands of thy sins. 

Why wert Thou denied of Peter ? 

To confess thee before My Father. 

Why wouldest Thou be forsaken of the disciples ? 

That I might be with thee until the day of judg- 

Why wouldest Thou be accused ? 

To absolve thee ? 

Why wouldest Thou be spitted upon ? 

To wipe away thy foulness. 

Why wouldest Thou be whipped ? 

That thou mightest be free from stripes. 

Why wouldest Thou be lifted up upon the Cross ? 

That thou mightest be lifted up to Heaven. 

Why wouldest Thou be crowned with thorns ? 

To crown thee with glory. 

Why were thy arms stretched out? 

To embrace thee, fainting soul. 

Why was Thy side opened ? 

To receive thee in. 

Why didst Thou die amidst two thieves ? 

That thou mightest live in the midst of Angels. 

O _ 





LET the devout Christian call to mind how 
Christ our blessed Saviour su^ered in every 
part of His body ; how His head was crowned 
with thorns, His eyes covered with tears, His face 
full of spittings. His mouth full of gall, His ears 
full of contumelies, His shoulders full of lashes ; 
how He had His hands pierced. His side opened, 
His feet fastened unto the cross. His whole body 
strained and stretched out. 

After this, let the devout Christian meditate of 
His Saviour's agony in the garden, for the sins of 
the world : of His sweat in a cold night, when 
His prayers went up, and the drops of blood ran 
down: of His hanging upon the Cross, when He 
seemed as it were forsaken of His friends on earth 
and His Father in Heaven ; of the bending down 
His head and giving up the ghost, with these 
words, " Father, into Thy hands I commend My 

Here let the devout Christian stand amazed at 



Q Q 


the height, and depth, and length, and breadth, of 
the love of Christ. 

Last of all, let him consider what good eftects 
this meditation ought to work in him, to wit, of hu- 
mility, patience, love, duty, reverence, and thank- 
fulness, to his Redeemer. Who would not be 
humble, calling to mind that the Son of God hum- 
bled Himself unto the death of the Cross ? Who 
would not be patient, considering His patience, 
who, as a meek Lamb, opened not His mouth be- 
fore the shearer ? Who would not love Him, who 
laid down His life for us miserable sinners ? 


Son of God, Redemer of the world, 

Have mercy upon us. 
By Thy tender love to man, 
Have mercy upon us. 
By the institution of Thy last Supper, before Thy 

Have mercy upon us. 
By Thine agony in the garden, 

Have mercy upon us. 
By Thy hard beating and scourging, 

Have mercy upon us. 
By Thy crowning with thorns, 
I Have mercy upon us. 
O — 

Q O 


By Thy bearing of Thy Cross, when Thou went- 
est to death, 

Have mercy upon us. 
By the piercing of Thy hands and feet, 

Have mercy upon us. 
By the lifting up of Thy most Holy Body upon the 

Have mercy upon us. 
By the love Thou hadst, hanging three hours on 
the Cross alive. 

Have mercy upon us. 
By the holy tears shed upon the Cross, 

Have mercy upon us. 
By Thy thirst, and receiving gall. 

Have mercy upon us. 
By inclining Thy head upon the Cross, 

Have mercy upon us. 
By Thy giving up the ghost. 
Have mercy upon us. 
By all the labour and weariness, sorrow and heav- 
iness, that Thou sufferedst from the day of Thy 
nativity unto the hour of the departure of Thy 
soul from Thy body, 

Have mercy upon us. 
By Thy glorious and powerful resurrection. 

Have mercy upon us. 
By Thy marvellous ascension up into Heaven, 
Have mercy upon us. 

o 6 





By Thy Divine consolation, and sending down of 
the Holy Ghost upon Thine Apostles, comfort 
us Lord, evermore, by the same Holy Ghost, and 
Have mercy upon us. 





How excellent and behovefid an exercise it is to 
place God as present in all our actions. 

VERY many excellent as also profitable means 
and exercises there are for the obtaining of 
virtue, amongst which, notwithstanding, there is 
none more behovefiil or commodious than this 
whereof we are now about to treat, viz. the Di- 
vine Presence, if, as it ought, it be rightly applied ; 
for whatsoever good resteth in any other, the same 
in some sort is comprised in this. In a spiritual 
life, whatever profit is reaped by other means, 
the same by this exercise may be obtained. 

This one only, of setting God ever before us, 
doth move and encourage the servant of God to be 
truly careful in all his actions. It doth kindle in 
him a desire to use all other good practices, that 
the wholesome aids and necessary helps, for the 
purchasing of true and sound virtues, may be at 



o o 


hand, that the Heavenly knowledge for the en- 
lightening of our understanding, and spiritual 
strength for the putting forth of our will, may be 
daily granted of God. And thus that is verified 
which we said, namely, this exercise to be as it 
were the sum and recapitulation of all other. If, 
therefore, the servant of God, being desirous of 
spiritual proceeding, doth fear to be forgetful of so 
many healthful ways which he hath either heard 
of from religious men, or read in books, to be ne- 
cessary for the attaining the perfection of a spirit- 
ual life, let him at least be mindful of this, and ex- 
ercise it in this matter ; for with this care he shall 
bring to pass that all other, which did seein to be 
utterly forgotten, shall, when need requires, be 
freshly recalled to mind. Again, if any one being 
desirous earnestly to please God, which all ought 
to be, and in all things to obey His Heavenly will, 
(after reading in godly books so many experiments 
and admonitions, the means to lead to a Godly and 
devout life,) be suppressed in mind, thinking it as 
it were impossible to make use of all these exer- 
cises, let him be of good courage, for behold, with 
one preservative all diihculty is taken away. To 
this one exercise, by God's assistance, he may 
seriously apply himself, and he may discern his 
heart so to be kindled with a Heavenly desire, 
and with the will of God so framed and conformed 
that all other means and remedies shall, by Divine 




c — o 


inspiration, presently come into his mind, as oc- 
casion shall serve, both for the embracing and ex- 
ercising of any whatsoever virtues, and also for 
t^e banishing and vanquishing temptations how- 
ever grievous. For truly God, Whom he doth be- 
hold present with him, and in Whom he doth 
heartily repose all his trust and confidence, and of 
Whom he doth earnestly desire succour, even He, 
in his good time and place, doth minister whatso- 
ever is necessary in that exercise, and doth deliver 
unto him both knowledge and strength to use all 
means requisite for this purpose ; for God doth 
never leave them destitute of the seasonable aid of 
His grace, who do, as is meet, lead their lives as 
in the sight and presence of his Divine Majesty. 



C —0 



OF that which hath been spoken, the servant 
of God may easily collect, that even as there 
is need of care and diligence to be used in all 
exercises and godly means, that profitable virtues 
be obtained ; so a far greater and more fervent 
study is required in this practice, namely, of the 
presence of God apprehended by the eyes of the 
understanding, or to be placed before the eyes of 
the mind ; because this, amongst the residue, hath 
the pre-eminence ; as one hath wisely exhorted, 
who saith, " Amongst all holy exercises, let this 
be cared for, and therein strain or stretch out all 
the faculties of thy soul, that continually, which is 
to say often, thou mayest lift up thy heart to God, 
and to the meditation and love of heavenly things. 
Wilt thou attain to purity of soul? always lift up thy 
heart to God. This only is the cause that so few 
O — — — >>) 

o o 


come to perfection, because they spend their time 
in exercises and means less profitable, and neglect 
the chiefest." " And," he addeth, " Labour thou 
to unite thy soul with God, and to have him fixed 
in thy memory. Advance thy desires and the 
whole affections of thy heart unto Him ; and 
although a hundred times in one hour thou art dis- 
tracted in mind, be not therefore dismayed, but 
always have recourse to thy purpose. Let the 
words of the holy and reverend Fathers move thee 
to frequent this exercise, who have exhorted us to 
the practice hereof with a general consent, as 
being instructed of one Master, namely, the Holy 

But this doctrine the holy Fathers have derived 
out of the fountains of the Scripture, wherein often 
and with gravity of words, this exercise is com- 
mended ; and that we may the more truly understand 
the necessity and excellence hereof, and that it may 
the more deeply be impressed in our hearts with 
divers forms and manners of speech, wherein not- 
Avithstanding is but one and the selfsame meaning, 
1 the Holy Ghost doth inflame and stir us up to that 
exercise according as David saith, " Seek ye the 
Lord, and ye shall be confirmed : seek ye always 
His face." " By His face" saith St. Augustine, 
" there is meant His presence ; and therefore 
always to seek the face of the Lord, is to be busied 
as in His presence, and to turn the desires and 

G- O 


o- o 


love of our hearts to Him." And in another place 
he saith, " My eyes are always to the Lord." The 
eyes of the soul are the understanding and memory, 
which, daily meditating and embracing God, do 
draw the affection of the heart with them. And 
from hence he doth gather, that God doth deliver 
such a one from the baits of the devil, that is, He 
doth minister strength to him, whereby he shall 
the less yield or faint under temptations ; for pre- 
sently he addeth, " And He shall pull my feet out 
of the snare." And this is that which the Holy 
Ghost doth, by the wise man, require of all. " In 
all thy ways think upon God, and He will direct 
thy goings in thy ways :" that is, in all thy actions, 
both inward and outward ;t hy footsteps, that is, 
He will direct all thy affections, and the desires of 
thy soul, and all the exercises of thy body, to His 
glory, by enlightening and moving thee, that in all 
things thou shalt frame thy will according to His 
Heavenly will. 

This also is a most worthy exercise, St. Bernard, 
being witness with St. Paul hath commended to 
his disciple Timothy, saying, " Exercise thyself 
in godliness, for bodily exercise is but little profi- 
table ; but godliness is expedient for all things." — 
For he would have this godliness to be a continual 
mindfulness of God, and a daily direction of our 
souls to the understanding of His will, and to love 
and embrace Him. 

Q O 

: O 


The Apostle here, as many holy men do affirm, 
calls the exercise of the body, mortifications and out- 
ward repentance, with which the body is punished 
for the reconciling us to God. For although these 
actions are excellent and healthful, yet notwith- 
standing, if they be compared with the exercise of 
the Divine Presence to be placed before our eyes, 
it may be said that the fruit of them is but small, 
and though they are profitable to some men, yet 
they are not so to all ; for they are also to some 
sometimes hurtful. They may be convenient, if 
they level at a wholesome end, but if it be other- 
wise they do rather hinder ; and therefore we de- 
termine, sometimes to moderate them, sometimes 
not to use them at all. But this Heavenly exer- 
cise is most profitable to all men, of what state so- 
ever, both because it is spiritual and existing in the 
soul, and also, because herein is true godliness. 

Here is God's worship exercised, which doth 
chiefly consist in the inward deeds of faith, hope, 
and charity : for what is it else to behold God as 
present, but to lift up our hearts to Him, to believe 
in Him, to love Him, and to sigh after Him with 
mourning ? This holy exercise, I say, the Scrip- 
tures do often repeat in those places wherein they 
do commend it ; that is, that we may pray without 
ceasing,* and that we may watch in our prayers.f 
For truly our thoughts and desires are voices and 

* Ecclus. xviii. 22. Luke xxi. 36. t 2 Thess. i. 11 




words with which our soul doth speak, and there- 
fore, so often as we, meditating of God as being 
present, do direct or lift up our cogitations and pe- 
titions to Him, it may be truly said, that we do 
pray ; and if we do it very often, or most often, it 
may be most rightly said, that we pray always, 
and without ceasing. For although in the Holy 
Scriptures the vocal prayer is also commanded to 
us, even as truly it is commanded principally unto 
the ministers of the Church, notwithstanding in the 
places above-mentioned, the prayer of the mind, 
which is only in the heart, is also praised. 

The vocal prayer hath times and certain hours 
limited by the Church, in which space of time the 
aforesaid prayer is used ; but the prayer of the 
mind hath not so, it doth comprehend all time and 
place, for at all times, and in all places, we may 
have God present, and we may direct our prayers 
and petitions to Him. For what a man doth often, 
and as it were ordinarily, in the usual manner of 
speech, he is said to do it always. And in this 
sense the holy and expert men have satisfied that 
advice or precept of praying continually. 

Neither doth this attention to God hinder the 
function of outward works in the servants of God ; 
yea, it doth greatly further them, that they may be 
done diligently and perfectly, according to an ear- 
nest desire and zeal which God doth participate to 
men of this sort, who are busied as in His sight. 


C Q 


Yea, for His great mercies' sake He doth impart 
to some so admirable and notable gifts of His grace, 
that not only without labour and difficulty, but also 
with exceeding great pleasure and facility, they 
may have their hearts affectuously conjoined and 
united to God. 

Wherefore with a great and cheerful mind, every 
one ought to apply himself unto this holy exercise, 
and he shall easily understand how ready God is 
to stay as present with us ; as often as it shall 
please Him to behold us, let us speak to Him, and 
familiarly talk with Him. From whence doth 
proceed such aids and helps that what doth seem 
hard to the strength of nature, yea, impossible, it 
may be made most easy and pleasant to any one. 

That one may have access to an earthly king? 
and that he may speak and entreat with him, is 
very hard, neither may it be obtained, but by the 
favour and grace of many ; yea, there is need of 
the labour and service of many years, before they 
can come to familiar acquaintance with the king; 
but God, although He is endued with infinite Ma- 
jesty and Glory, He is always prepared in every 
hour and moment to admit us into His sight, that 
we may lift up the eyes of our minds to Him, to 
behold His beauty and greatness, to desire His 
glory, to love His goodness, taste His sweetness, 
in being busied familiarly with Him, and in requir- 
ing some grace of Him. Neither only is he pre- 

6 o 





pared to do this, but He doth also wish and invite 
us with most great rewards propounded of His fa- 
vour and glory, that we may do so. Neither doth 
He bid some only, and those which excel in holi- 
ness, as there have been many ancient holy men, 
who have given themselves wholly day and night 
to Divine service, but also all the faithful, as many 
as with a pure heart do seek the honour of God, 
and to serve Him. 

O how devoutly and religiously do they perform 
their duty who desire and carefully seek such a 
good, who do not neglect such an honourable exer- 
cise, whereby they may have God always present, 
and continually enjoy His company ! They may 
truly fear, whosoever refuse in this life to use this 
so Heavenly a benefit, that in the hour of death the 
gate will be shut, as to the ungrateful, and to them 
that neglect the clear sight and contemplation of 
God as being present, which then shall be open 
only to just and blessed men. 







NOW to the intent that we may be stirred up 
to frequent this Holy Exercise with more 
earnestness, let us consider what effects it worketh 
in the mind, and, that it may take the deeper im- 
pression, let us set before us some examples. 
Amongst Adrtiies and the gifts of God, which are 
had in price with men of God, " pureness of heart" 
doth challenge the first place, as that which doth 
yield habitation or dwelling to the Divine Majes- 
ty : hence it is said, " He that loveth pureness of 
heart, the King shall be his friend ;"* that is, God, 
the King of Heaven and earth. This pureness 
we shall attain and preserve, if we behold God 
ever present with the eye of our mind : if it be 
otherwise, and if man forget God, neglect to con- 
sider that he is seen of Him, that he doth live, and 
do all things before Him ; the next thing is, that 
having the reins loosed, he by and by falls into 

• Proverbs xxii. 11. 






sin, and continueth therein, according to that of the 
Psalm, " God is not in his sight, therefore his ways 
are become wicked."* 

For, as the very thought, so the inordinate de- 
sire of earthly things doth defile the soul by sin, 
and doth put God out of the same ; so in this ex- 
ercise, because man doth place his cogitations on 
God, and after cogitations godly affections do suc- 
ceed, it comes to pass that the mind, by little and 
little, is taken away from the love of earthly and 
transitory things, and by this means is purged and 
renewed. St. Bernard found this by experience 
in himself, as he humbly confesseth, out of Divine 
inspiration, for the edifying of others, saying, 
" You ask, whereas the ways of God are hard to 
be found out, how I come to know them? It is 
quick and lively, as soon as the Divine Presence 
comes into my mind, it awakens my sleepy soul ; 
it stirreth up, it moves, it softens, it wounds my 
heart, which is hard, stony, and ill-afiected : it 
beginneth also to pull up, destroy, build, plant, 
water that which was dry, enlighten that which 
was dark, open that which was shut, enflame that 
which was cold, and also to righten that which 
was wrong, to make plain that which is rough, so 
that ray soul doth now bless God, and all that is 
within me doth give praise unto His Holy name." 
All this saith St. Bernard, whereby he doth testify 

* Psalm X. 4, 5. 



Q O 


what wonderful things God wrought in him, when 
he had Him present in his mind. 

Neither doth the Divine Presence effect this on- 
ly in the servants of God, but also it brings to pass 
in great sinners, that their hearts be purged from 
the contagion of sin. For being hereby admon- 
ished, they do lift up their heads from the bed 
of sin, and being moreover assisted with Divine 
light, they do consider themselves to be in the sight 
of God, Who is Judge both of quick and dead, 
Who, being present, doth see as often as they of- 
fend. Hence, from being stricken with shame 
and horror, they dare not any more commit wick- 
edness, but wonder at their former blindness, that 
so rashly and boldly, as if no God or judge had 
seen them, they ran headlong into all evil. 

It is storied ©f that infamous harlot Thais, to 
whom when Paphanlius, a holy man, came into 
a secret and solitary place, that she said unto him, 
" Here can I not be seen but of God only, or of 
the devil." To Avhoin Paphantius answered, " Go 
too then, if God see thee with most pure eyes, with 
what forehead darest thou sin in His sight?" 
Forthwith, saith the story, the beam of Heavenly 
Light cleared her mind ; whereupon she began 
with great shame, yea with capital hatred, to de- 
test her former wicked life : insomuch that in the 
midst of the city of Alexandria she burnt all those 
things which she had gathered together by her sin- 
O U 

p o 


ful trade and vicious course of life, and betook 
herself unto a straight and penitent manner of liv- 
ing, sequestering herself from the world, for the 
space of three years until she died. 

The same happened to another by the means 
of the holy Ephraim, who coming to a sinful 
woman, asked her if she durst commit her wonted 
sins in the midst of the city of Edessa, who an- 
swered, " I dare not, for shame doth forbid me to 
commit these things in the sight of men." To 
whom Ephraim said, " Know this, that though thou 
committest evil in the most secret place, and re- 
mote from the eyes of men, yet thou art seen of 
God, Who is everywhere present ; if, therefore, 
shame do deter thee from sinning, and the fear of 
men, much more should the fear of God do the 
same, Who doth punish the shameless sinners 
with the pains of hell." Which admonition did so 
terrify her with sorrow for her sin, that fortliwith 
she took herself to a penitent course of life. 

These are the excellent effects of the Divine 
Presence, when a man doth set the same seriously 
before his eyes ; for with what countenance dare 
he commit so foul an act, as some sin is before 
God, considering how infinitely He hateth sin, 
and punisheth wickedness with great severity. 
Who will not leave sin unpunished, either in this 
life, or in the hfe to come ? St. Augustine consid- 
ering this, saith, " Lord, when I call to mind that 



o o 


Thou observest my ways, and hast a watch over 
me day and night, and spiest out all my steps, as 
if, forgetful of all Thy other creatures. Thou didst 
only mark me, I am suddenly confounded with fear 
and shame, because there is a great necessity laid 
upon me of living uprightly and well, because we 
do all things in the sight of a Judge that seeth 
all things." Hitherto St. Augustine ; whereby we 
understand how great force a consideration of the 
Divine Presence hath, to make us beware of sin. 

i U 

o — o 



THE contemplation of the Divine Presence 
doth not only make us that we repent of sins 
committed, but also that we fall not into them 
again : for while we place God as beholding Him 
always present, and lift up our heart unto Him, 
there is stirred up in our minds a certain desire of 
vanquishing our ghostly enemies. Neither is the 
Divine aid and assistance hereunto wanting. 
Wicked elders insulted over Susanna, that chaste 
and innocent woman, threatening her death, 
unless she consented unto their sinful desires ; let 
us see by what way or means she resisted this 
temptation, to wit, she considered that she stood 
in the sight of God, Whom she so placed before 
her eyes, that raising up her mind against tempta- 
tion, she chose rather to lose the reputation of her 
family, than to consent to sin, for thus she answer- 
ed, " I am in a great straight, if I do this thing 
death is present ; if I do not, I cannot escape your 


o- o 


hands : it is better for me not doing it, to fall into 
your hands, than to sin in the sight of the Lord." 
O worthy saying, and worthy to be used in every 
temptation of the devil and the world, " I will 
rather endure death than sin in the sight of God." 

The valiant soldier, when in warlike conflict he 
considereth the eyes of the emperor or captain to 
be upon him, he fighteth more courageously ; for he 
knoweth that it is in the power of the emperor or 
captain after the victory obtaineid to distribute the 
spoils, and reward the well-deserving. What 
should not the soldier of Christ do in this daily 
combat with the devil, the world, and the flesh, 
seeing the eyes of the Divine Majesty cast upon 
him. remembering the eternal rewards, while he 
knoweth, that in the very conflict, Divine assistance 
will not fail him 1 

The verity of this, daily experience doth con- 
firm ; for if it happen that some servant of God 
(occasion being offered of wrath and anger) to be 
unmindful of the Divine Godhead, neither ordina- 
rily to lift up his heart to God, we see that he doth 
easily slip or fall into word of impatience, or at 
least to have some perverse cogitations in his 
mind : but if he have his heart erected to God, and 
refer all his pious desires to Him, he is soon at 
quiet, neither doth his mind give place to turbu- 
lent perturbations. 

Palladius visiting his friend Diodes, amongst 

6 o 

o ■ 9 


Other documents received from him, being a holy 
man, this was one ; " A man," saith he, " without 
the contemplation of the Divine Presence, is either 
a devil or a beast : a beast, if he give place to the 
temptations of the flesh, and carnal delights ; a 
devil, if to wrath, arrogancy and the like." When 
Palladius asked him by what means a man might 
have his soul quiet and always fixed upon God, he 
answered, " So often as the mind is occupied in 
any godly cogitations which doth direct to God, 
then it is fixed with God : but when it forgetteth 
God, then it becomes either a devil or a beast." 
This he understood to be done not only when a 
man falleth into any great or capital sin, btit also 
into some lighter sins, whereby he is made 
like either a devil or a beast. Wherefore the ser- 
vant of God may in no case neglect at any time the 
Divine presence, especially when occasions are 
offered of wrath, impatience, pride, unlawful de- 
sires, and such others. He may not, I say, at any 
time neglect with watchfulness to lift up his mind 
to God, to crave by prayer His daily assistance. 

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AMONGST those excellent good things which 
are got by this Holy exercise, stability of 
heart is numbered to be one : for first of all it is 
manifest that man was created for this end, that 
even in this life he should be firmly joined unto 
God by contemplation and love, and in the other 
Heavenly life by a clear vision. Now, after that 
he hath separated himself from God by sin, and 
hath turned unto the creatures, beginning to seek 
rest in them, (although that he had never found 
that he was made for them, or that any desire of 
them could satisfy him,) hence it is that his cogi- 
tations and desires do transport him sometimes 
this way, and sometimes that way, and so he fall- 
eth into great instability of heart ; which the 
Prophet Jeremiah bewailed in this manner, "Je- 

Q (^ 



Q p 


rusalem hath sinned a sin, therefore she is made 
unstable, erring from one place to another."* 

And surely the soul vexed with divers desires 
of earthly things, is much troubled ; hereof come 
the divisions of the heart, for so many divisions 
there are, as thoughts and studies to which it di- 
verteth. Now in division things are destroyed 
and consumed, according to that of the Prophet, 
" Their heart is divided, therefore they shall 
perish."t Into this woful state do they chiefly 
fall who commit any capital sin, for they are pulled 
from the love of God, and are in soul dead by the 
death of sin into which they fall, that are too 
much addicted to the love of earthly things. Now 
these evils can by no more eflfectual antidote or 
preservative against evil be turned away, than by 
the Holy exercise of the Divine Presence. For 
when as our mind doth often elevate her cogita- 
tions and desires to God, conversing with Him, 
and entering as it were, a familiarity by little and 
little, it is settled and confirmed ; for that it is 
drawn from things subject to instability, and united 
unto Him Who is not subject to any shadow of 
change. When the ship in the sea is tossed 
hither and thither, there is great danger that it 
dash not against a rock, the safest way is to cast 
some strong anchor : so when the mind of man, in 
the ocean of this world, is tossed with divers and 

• Lamentations i. 8. * Hosea x. 2. 


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dangerous thoughts, the safest and surest way is 
to apply it, and fasten it to the anchor of the Divine 
Presence, that it may come to stability, and that 
constancy which is acceptable to God. Where- 
fore, that spoken by the Wise Man doth well befit 
the servant of God, " The godly man continueth 
in his wisdom as the sun, but the fool is changed 
as the moon."* 

Now this remembrance of God, or Divine Pre- 
sence, doth not only compose and order the inward 
man, but also the outward. For as the servant of 
some great personage is by no means better con- 
tained within the lists and limits of duty, or moved 
to carry himself soberly, than if he imderstand he 
is beheld of his lord and diligently observed in his 
actions : so the servant of God is by no means 
more effectually retained within the actions of 
piety, than if he remember that he is always con- 
versant in the sight of God, as the stars of Hea- 
ven in presence of the sun, from whom they re- 
ceive their light. Wherefore the Wise Man said 
well, " Blessed is the man that continueth in wis- 
dom and thinketh of the beholding of God."t 

* Ecclesiasticus xxvii. 11. t Ibid. xiv. 20. 

6 6 





FOR the continuance of the race of a spiritual 
life, spiritual joy is a matter of no small mo- 
ment, which is felt by the servants of God, and 
had in price. This truly wholesome and spiritual 
good is principally procured and kept by the exer- 
cise of the Divine Presence. For even as he who 
attempteth any great and dangerous enterprise, is 
marvellously refreshed, if any object or sight be 
offered whereby he may be delivered from his 
danger ; or, if he chance to see some good friend 
whom he hath not seen for many years, is wonder- 
fully comforted ; so the soul of the servant of God, 
when it considereth with how many dangers it is 
compassed, when it once turneth the eyes of the 
mind to God, who is endowed with goodness, and 
ready to give help, is marvellously comforted and 

King Josiah, because he promoted the Divine 
Worship, and bestowed many benefits upon the 
people of God, he hath left behind him a joyful re- 



raembrance of his name. " The remembrance of 
Josiah is like a sweet ointment."* St. Bernard 
confesseth of himself, that so soon as he entered a 
religions course of life, he much rejoiced in the 
presence of Heavenly minded men. If the sight 
and memory of a just man be joyful, what shall the 
remembrance of God be? Nay, what shall His 
Presence be ? in Whom we may behold infinite 
beauty and other perfections, Judas Maccabeus 
entering into a warlike attempt, was wonderfully 
comforted by the Presence of God, Whom he was 
persuaded to be present to assist him ; these are 
the fruits of this Holy exercise. 

Therefore let the servant of God endeavour 
this exercise at every lime and place ; and so often 
as he waketh in the night, let him forthwith lift up 
the eyes of his mind, to behold the Divine Majesty 
present ; let him do the same when he riseth early 
out of his bed. If he pass through public ways, 
casting his eyes modestly unto the ground, let him 
raise up his spiritual eyes to God. When he hath 
conference with men, or is conversant in aflairs, 
let him fasten one eye of consideration upon his 
affairs now in hand, and let him lift up the other 
to God, requiring His help. 

If he be fallen into some grievous disease, so 
that he cannot perform his accustomed task of de- 
votion, let him not be grieved, but instead thereof, 

* Ecclesiasticus .\lix. 1. 

c o 

Q ^O 


let him lift up his heart to God, invoking Him, and 
laying before Him his desires, and with this only 
labour, let him be content and quiet, for by so do- 
ing he shall supply other duties. Thus did the 
Prophet David : " Thy name, Lord, and remem- 
brance is in the desire of my soul. My soul hath 
longed for Thee in the night season, and with my 
spirit have I early awaked unto Thee." 





HITHERTO we have considered the excel- 
lent fruits of this Divine exercise, now it 
remains that we know the means how this may be 
attained : of which, the first is, that we crave the 
same of God, of Whom cometh every good and per- 
fect gift. For as from Chrfet our Saviour all other 
helps unto salvation do proceed and come, so this, 
beseeching Him humbly by the infinite mercy and 
merits of His Passion, that we may always remem- 
ber Him, and have our hearts lifted up unto Him ; 
and there is no doubt but He will grant our requests, 
if, with assured faith, and lively desire, we ask 
this of Him. 

Another means to have God present may be if 
we use some signs, by the sight whereof we be 
brought to remember God ; as the placing of some 
sentence in that part of the house wherein we are 
most conversant ; as thus, " Sin not, because God 






seeth thee."* Or that of the Wise man, " The 
eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the 
good and evil."t Or that of David, " I had ever 
God in my sight."+ Or that of Tobit to his son, 
" All the days of thy life have God in thy mind."|| 
By this or any other means, to stir up the remem- 
brance of the Divine Presence, it is helpful to our 
dulness : and so much, briefly, of the first means 
of putting us in mind of the Divine Presence. 

The second is a daily and particular examina- 
tion of our consciences, whether or no we set God 
present in our actions ; this examination is often 
to be had, wherein we require of our conscience 
every evening Avhether we have God present in 
our actions all the day ; if we have so done, let us 
give Him thanks, for it is His gift and goodness, 
and let us beseech Him to continue the same : if 
it be otherwise, let us be sorrowful, and purpose 
to amend. 

A third means is, to make this a matter of great 
care : for as he which hath a purpose to build a 
house, is full of thoughts how to bring it to pass, 
the very care thereof takes away both his sleep and 
meat : the same is often done about the education 
of children. No other ways falleth it out with 
him that is careful to set God ever present before 
the eyes of his mind. 

The fourth means, and that which is above all, 

* Job X. 14. h Proverbs xv. 3. t Psalm xvi. 8. II Tobit iv. 5. 




Q O 


to help to attain this Holy Exercise of the Pres- 
ence of God, is the true love of God, which when 
it hath taken root in the heart of the servant of 
God, it by and by stirs him to direct his mind to 

For this is the nature of love, to transport itself 
into the thing that is loved, whereby it may be uni- 
ted with it, and be made one with it. Hence it 
cometh to pass, that evermore we remember the 
thing we love, we think of it, we desire it, and do 
gladly reseive it according to that of our Saviour, 
" Where thy treasure is, there is twy heart also."* 
From hence it cometh that all the difficulty of this 
exercise is in the begiuning, until the soul come 
unto the great love of God ; for as soon as love 
doth possess the heart, there is nothing more pleas- 
ant than the Presence of God. 

• Luke xii. 34. 

o o 

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FIRST, that time is a thing most precious. 
Secondly, for that man is not lord of the 
time, and it is therefore granted him of God to dis- 
pose well of it. 

Thirdly, for that God doth take time from them 
that do neglect it. 

Fourthly, for that we ought to labour in this and 
other holy exercises while we have time. 

Fifthly, how we may proceed to redeem the 

Of the first of these we are to consider first of 
all, that time is precious by that of the Angel, 
"Time shall be no more;"* meaning a precious 
opportunity of ^oviding for an estate to come ; 
which also sh(meth that God vouchsafeth us a 
great grace in granting us this time. King David 
was ever in fear of making less time, in that he said, 
" Mine eyes prevent the night watches."t " Arise, 
arise, quickly," saith St. Bernard, " O Chris- 

* Rev. X. 6. t Psalm cxix. 125. 

(J o 

o o 


tian,be ashamed that the sun should prevent thee." 
The holy men of God, knowing how precious time 
was, and of such value that it could not be valued, 
did ever frugally spend the same. " O," saith St. 
Bernard, " what is more dear, more to be loved, 
more profitable than time ? nothing more worthy 
and yet nothing more contemned." 

The days of salvation pass away, no man per- 
ceiving it ; they fly away without hope of return. 
I beseech you, brethren, contemn not the time, or 
little hour which God hath given you to prepare. 
EA'erlasting glory is precious, that is precious a 
little whereof is worth great treasure : of this na- 
ture is time. Of the second, that man is lord of 
the time, and that it is therefore granted him of 
God to dispose well of it. Concerning earthly 
possessions, we cannot call them properly ours, 
according to that of the Apostle, Deum tempus ha- 
hemus, " while we have time."* Now we are 
withal to consider that this momentum temporis, for 
it is but a moment compared to eternity, that is, I 
say, momeniuvi magnimomenti, "a moment of great 
moment," granted us not to be wasted in vain, 
much less in sinful delights. AWian ought not to 
cast his temporal goods into the sea, but to spend 
them in all good and godly uses, answerable to that 
of the forenamed Apostle, proceeding in this man- 
ner, " While we have time, let us do good." 

• Gal. vi. 10. 

c o 



The Prophet David saith, Dum hodie appella- 
tur, " while it is called to-day."* In the Gospel, 
the kingdom of heaven is compared to certain veho 
receive their master's treasures upon an account, 
and to occupy it until his coming. " The time," 
saith St. Jerome, " which is bestowed upon un- 
profitable or idle delights, is lost and doth perish 
as if it never had been." It is reported of Vespa- 
sian, that when he had passed a day without bene- 
fiting others, he would say to his friends, " Friends, 
I have lost a day." Wherefore seeing that time is 
granted us to dispose well of our future condition, 
let not any hour pass without fruit. 

Of the third, to call to mind how God will take 
time from them that do neglect it, we have a man- 
ifest warrant by that in the Revelations, " If thou 
watch not, I will come upon thee as a thief." f 
Where God exhorteth first, to watch ; secondly, 
he threateneth surprising them that are slothful, 
and spoiling them of that which ought to be most 
precious, to wit, time ; for time is, as it were, 
treasure in the house of a sinner, which treasure, 
if we well preserve, we may make a happy mer- 
chandise for the world to come ; and is also liken- 
ed to the bird, that at every flight loseth a feather. 

Of the fourth, we may consider how we are to 
labour in this and other holy exercises, while we 
have time. " Whatsoever thy hand is able to do," 

' Psalm xcv. 8. f Rev. iii. 3. 

o C 

o- o 


saith the Wise Man, " do it instantly."* Joseph, 
in the seven years of plenty, provided for the years 
of dearth ; Noah built an ark while the weather 
was fair ; the wise virgins provided oil before the 
market was done. 

Of the fifth, we are last of all to consider how 
we may proceed to redeem the time. Time is said 
to be captive, when we use it contrary to the mind 
of the Giver ; but it is redeemed or set at liberty 
when we use it to fulfil His will, and keep His 
commandments. The means of redeeming the 
time is laid down by that of the Apostle, " As men 
have given their members servants to imrighteous- 
ness, so let them give them to be servants of 
righteousness :"* of evil, let them become good ; 
of cruel, gentle ; of negligent, watchful ; in a word, 
to spend the rest of their lives as that they be pure 
and holy, that so at the last they may attain ever- 
lasting glory : which God grant, for Christ's sake. 


Into the hands of Thine ineffable mercy, O Lord, 
I commend my soul, my body, my senses, my 
speech, my counsel, my wit, my thoughts, my 
works, and deeds ; all the necessities of my soul 
and body, my coming in, my going forth, my faith 

• Prov. iii. 27. t Rom. vi. 19. 


o o 


and conversation, my course and end of my life, 
the day and hour of my departure, my death, my 
rest, my resurrection with Thy saints and elect 
for ever. Amen. 

Lord grant me a hatred of evils past, a contempt 
of sinful delights present, a desire of true delights 
for the time to come : grant me also, I beseech 
thee, the removing of occasions of evil, the sound- 
ness of affection to refuse, and power to resist my 
ghostly enemy, that he never say, I have prevailed 
against him. 

Omnipotent, and O merciful God, Who didst add 
to the life of king Hezekiah fifteen years, when 
he prayed unto Thee weeping, grant me. Thy un- 
worthy servant, so much space before the day of 
my death, that I may bewail all my sins, and by 
Thy grace attain remission of them, by Jesus 
Christ our Lord. Amen. 

o— O 






The undersigned have the pleasure of presenting to you a copy of 
their Catalogue of impuriantPublications in the several departments 
of Literature. They would particularly direct your attention to that 
admirable series of devotional works by Bishop Patrick, Doctor 
ScTTON and others, which have received the unqualified coranieud- 
atiou of the Church. In a letter received from Bishop Whitting- 
HAM, he says, •' I had forgotten to express my very great satixfac 
tion atyourcomnienceintntof aseries of devotional works, lately re 
published in Oxford and London." Again, Bishop Do«jiK says of 
this, " I write to express my thanks to you for reprints o! the Oxford 
books ; first, for reprinting such books, and secondly, in such a style. 
I sincerely hopu you may be encouraged to go on, and give them all 
to us. You will dignify the art of printing, and you will do great 
service to the best interests of the country." The undersigned also 
beg to refer to their beautiful edition of the Poetical Works of 
SouTHEY, also to that excellent series of "Tales for the People and 
their Children," by Mary Hovvitt and others, and to that extensive 
series of popular works for general reading, uniting an interesting 
style with soundness of Christian principle, such as the works 
of Archbishop Magek, Guizot, John Anokll Jamks, Miss 
Sinclair, Kev. Robert Philip, Rev. Augustus Wm. Hare, 
J.NO. Pyk Smith, Frederick Augustus Schligel, Isaac 
Taylor, Dr. W C. Taylor, Rev. Dr. Spraoub, &c. &c. 
They also publish those very popular Voyages and Travels by 
Kev. H. Southoatk, of the Episcopal Mission, and Fitch W 
Taylor, together with the Memqjrs of General Alexander 
Hamilton by his sou ; and will continue to publish standard and 
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Emporium for Standard Literature, 
200 Broadway, New- York. 

(Kr D. A. & Co.'s Cataligue of Englishi Books (intthodically 
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lectures on Revivals 

In Religion. By W. B. Spraqije, D.D. With an Introductory 
Essay by Leonard Woods, D.D. lvol.l2mo. 

letters to a Daughter, 

On Practical Subjects. By W. B. Scraguk, D.D. Fourth edi- 
tion, revised and enlarged. 1 vol. l'2nio. 

lectures to Young People. 

By W. B. Spraoue, D.D. With an Int oduciory Address by Sam- 
uel Miller, D.D. Fourtli edition. 1 vol. 12mo. 



Q O 

10 New Works and New Editions 


Comprising a Summary Viewof tlie Studios, Accomplishments, and 
I'rinciples of Conduct, best suited for P'omoting Respectability 
and Succegs in Life. Elegantly engraved frontispiece. I vol. 18mo. 


Comprising a Summary View of Female Studies, Accomplishments 

and Principles of Conduct. Beautiful frontispiece. 1 vol. 18mo. 

Letters to the Young. 

Chiefly of a Devotional character. By Maria. Jane Jewsbury. 
1 vol. 12mo. 

Thoughts ill Affliction. 

By the Rkv. A. S. Thelwall A.M To which is added Bereaved 
Parents Consoled, by John Thornton, with Sacred Poetry. 
1 vol. 32nio. 


And tlicir Ctiildrcii. 

Under the above title are now being issued a series of moral and 
highly intcresiiiig Tales by Mary Howitt and others. The fol- 
lowing have al'cady appeared. 


A Tale. By Mary Howitt. 1 vol. 18mo. plates. 


Or What will come of it ■? By Mary Howitt. 1 vol. IPmo. plates. 


A Tale. By Mary Howitt. 1 vol. 18mo. plates. 


Or the Boyhood of Felix Law. By Mary Howitt. 1 vol. 18nio. 


Remains of thp Rev. Edmund D. GrifRn. Compiled by Francis 
Griffin. With a Memoir by Rev. Dr. McVicar. 2 vole. 8vo. 

c ^ 



Published by D. Appleton 8f Co. 



Lafever's Modern Architecture. 

Beauties of Modem Arrhitecture; consisting of Forty- eiqlit Plates 
of Original Di^igns, with Plans, Elevations and. Sections, also a 

' Dictionary of Technical Terms, the whole forming a complete 
Manual fbr the Practical Business Maji. By M. Lafbvier, Archi- 
tect. 1 vol. large 8vo. half bound. 

lafever's Stair-Case and Hand-Rail Construction. 

The Modern Practice of Stair-Case and Hand-Rail Construction, 
practically explained in a series of De-signs. By M. Lafrver, 
Architect. With Plans and Elevations for Ornamental Villaa. 
Fifteen plates. 1 vol large 8 vo. 


The Steatn Engine, its Origin and Gradual Improvement from the 
time of Hero to the present day, as adapted to Manufactures, Lo- 
comotion and Navigation. Illustrated with lorty-eight plates in 
full detail, numerous wood cuts, &c. By Pacl R. Hodge, C. E. 
1 vol. folio of p ates and letter-press in 8vo. 

" In this work tbe best Western and Eastern machinery, as applied to naviga- 
tion, together with the most approved locomotive engines in this country and 
Europe, are given in detail, forming tlie most valuable work for the practical man 
ever published." 

Keiglitly's Mythology for Schools. 

The Mythology of Ancient Greece and Italy, designed for the iise of 
Schools. By Thomas Keiohtly. Numerous wood cut illustra.- 
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The Symbolical Spelling Book, in two parts. By Edward Ha- 
ZEN. Containing 288 engraving*, printed on good paper. 
" This work is already introduced into upwards of one thousand dilTereal 

schools, and pronounced to be one of the best works published. 


Containinc all the words to be found in his large work relating to 
tlie New Testament. 1 vol. 18mo. 


Numerous References, Maps, &c. 1 vol. l8mo. 



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12 New Works and New Editions 


An Es!>ay on tlie Warrnnt, Nature and Duties of tln' Office of the 
Ruling Elderiin the Presbyterian Church. By Samttel Miller, 
D D. 1 vol. 12mo. 



By a Lady. With an Original Foein by Miss H. F. Gould. ] vol. 


Or the July Tniir By one of the Party. 1 vol. 12ino. 

" He can form a moral on a glass of champagne." — Le Roy. 


Select Discoursp" ou the Functions of the Nervous Systetn, in oppo- 
sition to I'iirenolotry, Materialism and Atheism ; to which is pre- 
fixed a Lecture <in the Diversities of the Human Charactir, aris- 
ing from Physiological Peculiarities. By John AuousTWit 
Smith, M.D. 1 vol. 12mo. 

VCT Prej^aring for Publication. 

By Si.MON Patrick, DJJ., sometime Hisliop of Ely. With an In- 
troduction and some account of the Autlior, by tlie Rev. Thomas 
Chamberlaine, M.A., of Christ Chuicli, Oxford. 1 vol. royal 
ICmo elegantly printed, uniform with Heart's Ease, Discourse on 
Prayer, &.c. 


Diece Vivere, Learn to Live; wherein is shown that the Life of 
Christ is, and ought to be, an expr«ss Pattern for imitation unto 
the life of a Christian. By Christo, her Sutton, D D., some- 
time Prebend of Westmiuster. 1 vol. 16rao. elegantly printed. 

6 -o 


Published by D. Appleton ff Co. 




Disce Mori, Learii to Die, a Religious Discourse, moving every 
Christian man to enter into a serious remembrance of his end. 
By Christopher Sctton, D D,, sometime Prebend of West- 
minster. 1 vol. 16mo, elegantly printed. 

From the last London edition. 1 vol. 16mo. elegantly printed. 


Or tntcllectual Mirror; being an elegant Collsction ofllit most de- 
lightful Little Stories and Interesting Tales, with numerous illus- 
tration*. From tha twentietii London edition. 1 vol. 18mo. 

Happiness, its Nature and Sources. 

By Kev. John Amqkll JjkMKs. 


To the Widow's God. By Rev. John Anqell James. 


From the German of Herder. 

The History of the Reformation in Geimany. By Leopold vok 
Ranke, author of the History of the Popes. Translated by Sa- 
KAH Austin. 






Kecenihj Published. 
The Sacred Choir: 


Consisting of Selections from the most dislinguifhed authors, among 
whom are the names of Haydn, Mozart, JiEEXHOvKN, Peeoo- 
LESsi, &c. &.C. ; with several pieces of Music by the author ; 
also a Progressive Elementary System of Instruction for Pupils. 
By George Kingsley, author of the Social Clioir, &c. &c. 
Fourth edition. 

Hj" 'I he following are among the many favourable opinions 
expressed of this worlc. 

From L. Mcignen, Profestor of Music, Philadelphia. 
*• G. Kingsley, 

" Sir, — i liave carefully perused tbe copy of your new work, and it ig with 
the greatest pleasure that 1 now tell you that 1 have been highly gratilied witt the 
reading of many of its pieces. The harmony throughout is full, etfective and 
correct; the melodies are well sele<-led and well adapted; and 1 have no doubt, 
that when known and appreciated, this work will he found in the library of every 
choir whose 'director feels, as many do, the want of a complete reforniation in 
that department of music. Beheve me, dear sir, 

" Vours respectfully, 

'• L, Meignen.'* 
From Mr. B. Dcnman, President of the David Sacred Music Society, PhUadet 
> pUia, to George KiiigsUu. 

" Dear sir,— Having examined your ' Satred Choir,' I feel much pleasure in re- 
commending It as the very best colieclion of Church Music I hav« ever seen. It 
combines the beauties 01 other books of the kind, with some decided improve- 
ments in selection, arrangement and composition, and comnieuds itself to tbe 
choir, the parlour and social circle. Wishing you tlie success your valuable and 

w«U-aranged work merits, 1 1 

" Yours respectfully." 
From the Committee of the Choir of Yale College. 
•• Sir, — We have been using for some time past your new publication in the 
choir with which we are connected. ^Ve take plea.siire in stating to you oui en- 
tire satisfaction wi!h the manner in which it lias been compiled and harmonized, 
and would wilUngly reeommend it to any of the associations desiring a collection 
of Sacred Music of a sterling character and original matter. Tbe melodies are 

Suite varied and of an unusually plea!*ing character : and uniting, as they do, the 
evntional with the pleasing, we have no hesitation iu giving them our preference 
to any other collection of a similar character at present m use among the 


From Three Leaders of Choirs, 

•* Mr. George Kingsley. 

" Sir,— We have examined the 'Sacred Choir' enough to lead us to ap- 
preciate the work as the best publication of Sai red Music extant. It is beautifully . 
printed and sub.,-tantially bound, conferring credit on the publishers. We be-ipeal^ 
for the ' Sacred Music Choir' an extensive circulation. "jr 

Sincerely yours, ,/ 

" O. S. Bowdoiru" 
" E. O. Goodwin. 
'• 1) liigiahau." 




English and American. 


Beg leave to invite the attention of tlu-ir Fi lends and the Public 
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Their Assortment of "Modern American Pubiications" is now 
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Country Mercliauts supplied on tUe most 
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Q O 


D. APPLETON 8e, Co. 

Beg to inform Literary and Scientific Gentlemen, and the Public 
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